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UC-NRLF 


*B    b3fi    DEI 


berkeleyN 
LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY  OF 
CALIFORNIA^/ 


EECOED 


OF  THE 


|  1  4  <l 


WITH   SKETCHES   EXTRACTED    FROM   HISTORY    OF 

THE  TIMES  IX  WHICH  ITS  SERVICES  WERE 

REQUIRED,   FROM  1793  TO  1880. 


Compiled  and  arranged,  from  the  most  authentic  sources. 


BY 


MAJOR    J.    DOUGLAS    MERCER, 

Late  North  Cork  Rifles  and  9th  Battn.  the  King's  Royal  Rifle  Corps. 


DUBLIN: 

PRINTED  BY  SEALY,  BRYERS  &  WALKER, 

94,  95  &  96  Middle  Abbey  Stbeet. 

1886 


A/6M  + 


PREFACE. 


■:0: 


At  the  request  of  many  of  ray  old  brother  officers,  with  whom 
I  served  in  the  permanent  embodiment  of   the  North  Cork 
Rifles,   during  the   war  of  the  Indian  Mutiny,   (from   1857 
to    1860),    and   at    the    subsequent    annual   trainings — up    to 
the  year   1880 — I   was   induced   to    attempt    something  like 
a  Record  of  the   North   Cork  Regiment.      I   little  thought, 
however,    of    the    difficulty    of    the    task    I    was    about   to 
undertake,  in   the  way  of   finding  the  necessary  amount  of 
information.     By  the   kindness  of  Sir  Bernard  Burke,  C.B., 
Ulster  King-at-Arms,   I   was   permitted   access   to  some   old 
books,  &c,  in  the  Record  Tower,  Dublin  Castle.     I  gleaned 
something  also  from  the  old  newspapers  in  Trinity  College, 
and  from  various  histories  of  the  Rebellion  of  1798,  at  the 
Royal  Dublin  Society  Institution,  &c.     I  also  gathered  a  good 
deal  of  useful  matter  from  old  documents  kindly  forwarded  by 
the  late  Lieut. -Colon el  Howe  (a  brother  officer),  from  Captain 
Hodder,  Hoddersfield,  Co.  Cork,  from   R.  U.  P.  Fitzgerald, 
Esq.,  M.P.,  and  others.     By  this  aid  I  have  been  enabled  to 
produce  a  volume  the  contents  of  which,  whatever  may  be 
considered  its  demerits,  can  be  relied  upon  as  being  perfectly 
authentic. 

I  have  carefully  avoided  anything  like  vague  or  questionable 
matter,  that  might  tend  only  to  the  ridicule  or  discredit  of  the 
regiment,  or  any  member  of  it,  and  I  may  conclude  by  stating 
that  I  feel  much  pride  at  having  been  honoured  with  the 
charge  of  compiling  a  Record  of  the  gallant  old  Regiment,  in 
connection  with  which  I  have  spent  many  of  the  best  years  of 
my  life. 

-  J.  D.  MERCER,  Majob. 

17*/i  May,  1S8G. 

A 

305 


CONTENTS 


*$* 


CHAP. 

I. — MARCH,    1793 

II. — JANUARY,  '97 

III. — IRISH   REBELLION,  '98 

IV. — THE  REBEL  ARMY  . 

V. — BATTLE  OF  NEW  ROSS,   5TH  JUNE,  '98 

VI. — BATTLE  OF  ARKLOW,   JUNE   10TH,  '98 

VII. — VINEGAR  HILL,   JUNE  21  ST,  '98 

VIII. — LANDING  OF  THE  FRENCH 

IX. — HUMBERT'S   SURRENDER      . 

,,        BATTLE     OF     ASS  AYE     AND      LORD      CATHCARTs 
EXPEDITION  TO  HANOVER 

X. — THE  PENINSULAR  WAR 

XI.— WAR  IN  THE  CRIMEA 

XII. — THE  INDIAN  MUTINY 

XIII. — MASSACRE  BY  THE   SEPOYS 

XIV.— NANA   SAHIB'S  TREACHERY 

XV. — GALLANT  ATTACK,  AND  ROUTE  OF 

XVI. — CAPTURE  OF  ONAO 

XVII.— THE  RELIEF  OF  LUCKNOW 

XVIII.— OFFICERS  OF  THE  REGIMENT,    1857 

XIX.— VICISSITUDES  OF  THE  REGIMENT 


THE  ENEMY 


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42 

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6 

constituted  from  that  of  the  present  day,  in  almost 
every  particular,  for,  although  they  fought  well,  but 
little  could  be  said  in  favour  of  their  drill  or  discipline. 

The  North  Cork  Regiment,  as  will  be  shown  in  this 
volume,  as  a  matter  of  record,  did  their  duty  well  and 
bravely,  even  when  the  odds  were  immensly  dispro- 
portioned  against  them  ;  and  the  officers — although,  of 
course,  devoid  of  any  military  education — by  their 
coolness  and  presence  of  mind  when  face  to  face  with 
desperate  responsibility,  proved  themselves  worthy  of 
having  their  names  handed  down  to  future  generations 
as  examples  for  gallantry  and  courage,  as  what  act  of 
heroism  in  modern  warfare  can  exceed  that  of  the 
gallant  Captain  Snowe  at  the  Bridge  of  Enniscorthy, 
as  stated  by  Froude.*  The  North  Cork  "  had  suffered 
severely,  one  detachment  destroyed  at  Prosperous, 
another  at  Oulart,  and  still  at  Enniscorthy  they  fought 
splendidly/ '  and  had  retreated  only  before  numbers 
enormously  superior,  and  an  enemy  whose  policy  was 
to  treat  them  as  traitors  to  their  country,  and  to  refuse 
all  quarter  to  such  of  them  as  came  within  their  savage 
power  ;  but  of  this  more  hereafter. 

The  North  Cork  Regiment  (No.  34)  was  raised  by 
Government  levy,  in  the  North  Riding  of  the  County 
of  Cork,  in  the  months  of  April,  May,  and  June,  1793, 
and  numbered  26  officers,  24  sergeants,  16  drummers, 
12  fifers,  and  446  rank  and  file,  under  the  command 

*  Froude's  "  English  in  Ireland,"  Vol.  III. 


of  Viscount  Kingsborough,  with  John  De  Courcey, 
twenty-sixth  Baron  Kingsale,  as  Lieutenant- Colonel. 
The  following  is  a  list  of  the  officers  appointed  at  the 
time,  for  which  see  Army  List,  January,  1794  : —  . 

Colonel  Commandant — Yiscount  Kingsborough. 
Lt.-  Colonel — Lord  Kingsale. 
Major — John  JNewenham. 

Captains. 
John  Wallis.  Richard  Foote. 

David  Franks.  Edward  Heard. 

James  Lombard. 
Capt.- Lieut. — Honble.  Wm.  De  Courcey. 

Lieutenants. 
Charles  Yinters.  John  O'Hea. 

Stephen  O'Hea.  William  Johnston. 

John  Norcott.  Michael  Stewart. 

David  Williams.  James  Glover. 

Ensigns. 
Michael  Rourke  Thomas  Paye. 

Isaac  Silletto.  Thomas  H.  Justice. 

Charles  Barry.  John  Roe. 

Chaplain — Rev.  T.  Barry. 
Adjutant — Honble.  Wm.  De  Courcey. 
Quartermaster — Charles  Yinters. 
Surgeon — Daniel  Williams. 

Armit,  Burrough  &  Co.,  Agents. 
Uniform  red,  Facings  yellow. 


8 


The  regiment  after  its  embodiment  was  moved  to 

Limerick  and  broken  up  into  detachments  to  various 

parts  of  that  county,   in  which  it  remained  until  the 

beginning  of  the  year  1796,  when  it  was  moved  into 

Kilkenny,  and   after    a  period  of  some  nine  months 

there,    it    was    sent    to    the    County    Kildare    head 

quarters,  at   INaas,  with  detachments  throughout  the 

county.     About  this  time  the  compulsory  increase  of 

military  power,  under  the  provisions  of   the  "  Militia 

Bill,"    increased  the    general    feeling    of  discontent, 

and  the  uneasiness  was  not  abated  by  the  rumour  that 

the  French  Government  had  undertaken  to  land  an 

army  of  20,000  men  to  assist  the  Irish  Revolutionists. 

This  rumour  was  well   founded,   for   on   the   21st  of 

December,  the  French  Fleet,  under  "Morard  de  Galles," 

with   thirty-four  sail,  entered  Bantry  Bay.      But  the 

disasters  which  befel  it  are  graphically  described  in  the 

Journal  of  the  unfortunate  Theobald  Wolfe  Tone,  and 

recorded  by  an  eminent  historian.*     It  runs  thus : — 

' '  The  morning  is  now  come — the  gale  continues,  and 

the  fog  so  thick  we  cannot  see  a  ship's  length  ahead  ; 

so  here  we  lie  in  the  utmost  uncertainty  and  anxiety. 

In   all   probability  we   are   left   without   Admiral   or 

General.     Certainly  we  have   been    persecuted   by   a 

strange  fatality  from  the  very  night  of  our  departure 

from  Brest,  to  this  hour.     We  have  been  now  six  davs 

in  Bantry  Bay — within  500  yards  of  the  shore,  without 

*  Maxwell. 


being  able  to  effect  a  landing.  We  have  been  dispersed 
four  times  in  four  days  ;  and  at  this  moment,  of  forty- 
three  sail,  of  which  the  expedition  consisted,  we  can 
muster  of  all  sizes,  but  fourteen.  There  only  wants  our 
falling  in  with  the  English  to  complete  our  destruction. 

"  On  the  27th  the  weather  continued  stormy — several 
ships  were  obliged  to  cut  and  run — the  fleet  was  reduced 
to  seven  sail  of  the  line,  and  one  frigate  ;  the  troops 
to  4,200  men,  and  the  artillery  to  two  four-pounders. 
As  a  last  effort  this  miserable  remnant  of  the  expedi- 
tion determined  to  seek  the  Shannon,  which  had  been 
named  as  the  place  of  rendezvous.  During  the  whole 
gale  which  blew  during  the  night  of  the  28th  a  sixth 
separation  occurred,  and  three  seventy-fours  and  a 
frigate  parted  company.  On  the  29th  the  Commodore 
signalled  the  captains  to  steer  for  France,  and  the  last 
ship  of  our  expedition  intended  to  overthrow  the 
British  Monarchy  quitted  the  shores  of  Ireland  without 
having  landed  a  single  soldier,  communicated  with  the 
disaffected,  or  thrown  a  musket  on  the  shore.  On  the 
1st  January  the  Indomitable,  with  her  three  consorts, 
made  Ushant  and  anchored  the  same  evening  in  Brest 
Harbour.  The  run  back  to  France,  contrary  to  general 
expectation,  had  been  fortunately  uninterrupted  from 
the  night  they  left  the  Raz  passage  until  they  entered 
the  Goulet  on  their  return.  Although  the  sea  swarmed 
with  British  cruisers,  the  French  Fleet  had  never  seen 
a  man  of  war." 

The  failure  of  the  French  attempt  was  of  course  very 


10 

depressing  to  the  Irish  Unionists,  and  the  reports  of 
Irish  agents  tended  little  to  encourage  a  fresh  attempt, 
the  gasconade  of  some  presenting  a  ridiculous  contrast 
to  the  gloomy  anticipations  of  the  remainder.  The 
spirit  of  the  Revolutionists,  however,  was  as  untameable 
as  ever,  and  the  capture  of  Lord  Edward  Fitzgerald 
about  this  time  in  Thomas  Street,  Dublin,  was  an 
additional  incentive  to  stir  up  their  fury.  This  occurred 
on  the  night  of  the  18th  of  May,  1797,  and  now  open 
rebellion  was  threatened,  and  troops  were  being  poured 
into  Dublin  to  protect  the  Capital.  The  North  Cork 
was  about  one  of  the  first  regiments  ordered  to  Dublin, 
and  was  quartered  in  George's  Street  Barracks,  now 
the  establishment  of  Messrs.  Pim,  Brothers  &  Co. 


CHAPTER    II. 
January,  1797. 

The  year  1797,  it  has  been  stated,*  was  one  rather  of 
preparation  than  of  incident,  and  the  exertions  of  the 
leaders  of  the  conspiracy  at  that  period  were  unceasing, 
and  the  efforts  of  the  Government  equally  so,  and  with 
such  effect  that  nearly  all  the  principals  were  arrested, 
for  immediately  after  the  capture  of  Lord  Edward 
Fitzgerald,  the  brothers  John  and  Henry  Sheares  were 
taken,  tried  and  executed,  from  papers  found  in  their 
possession  and  the  savage  ferocity  of  intention  indi- 
cated therein,  especially  the  proclamation  (to  give  no 
quarter)  in  the  handwriting  of  John  Sheares,  about 
to  be  issued  to  the  rebel  leaders  throughout  the 
kingdom,  showed  that  a  terrible  insurrection  was 
about  to  burst  forth.  The  plots  to  sei2e  upon  the 
metropolis,  the  Castle,  Trinity  College,  &c,  were  all 
fortunately  discovered  by  the  indefatigable  Major 
Sirr,  in  time  to  prevent  any  calamity  of  the  kind. 

1798,  April. — Meanwhile  the  crisis  rapidly  hurried  on, 
and  every  day  it  was  expected  the  explosion  would  take 


*  Maxwell. 


12 

place,  and  so  on  until  the  23rd  of  May,  a  day  that  must 
ever  carry  with  it  deplorable  recollections,  for  before 
another  sun  should  rise  the  city  was  to  undergo  all  the 
horrors  that  attend  upon  Civil  War.  Evening  came,  but 
no  positive  information  had  as  yet  reached  the  Castle, 
when  late  in  the  day  Lieutenant  La  Touche,  of  the 
County  Dublin  Yeomanry  Cavalry,  sent  word  to  apprise 
the  Lord  Lieutenant  that  the  insurrection  had  actually 
broken  out,  and  the  rebels  were  collecting  in  great 
numbers  at  Rathfarnham,  and  in  the  roads  and  fields 
in  the  vicinity  of  Dublin.  Immediately  the  garrison 
drums  beat  to  arms  ;  the  "  North  Cork  Militia  " — 432 
strong — formed  in  Stephen's  Green  ;  and  all  the 
approaches  to  the  city  were  strongly  guarded  and 
occupied  by  the  Royalist  troops.  The  capture  of  Dublin 
was  the  grand  and  primary  object  at  which  the  con- 
spirators aimed,  and  a  simultaneous  movement  on  the 
capital  by  the  Kildare  rebels  was  to  have  seconded  the 
efforts  of  the  disaffected  within  the  city. 

The  stoppage  of  the  mail  coaches  was  to  be  the  signal 
for  a  general  rising.  On  the  evening  of  the  23rd  the 
Belfast  mail  was  burned  at  Santry ;  the  Limerick 
stopped  on  the  Curragh  of  Kildare,  and  both  guard 
and  coachman  murdered ;  the  Athlone  coach  was 
destroyed  at  Lucan  ;  and  the  Cork  mail  at  JNaas  ;  and  a 
number  of  petty  affairs  followed  the  instant  outbreak  of 
the  rebellion,  all  tinged  in  a  lesser  or  greater  degree 
with  the  atrocity  attendant  upon  Civil  War. 

The  North    Cork  only  mustered  432    men  for  the 


13 

defence  of  the  city,  and,  as  the  garrison  was  almost 
drained  of  regular  troops,  the  safety  of  Dublin  was 
intrusted  to  the  Militia  and  Yeomanry,  which  circum- 
stance was  not  overlooked  by  the  rebel  leaders.  In 
barracks  soldiers  cannot  be  easily  surprised,  a  few 
moments  being  sufficient  to  place  a  regiment  in  order  of 
battle,  but  to  collect  stragglers  dispersed  and  distant 
from  the  alarm  posts  they  have  been  instructed  to 
assemble  at,  is  a  work  of  time,  and  equally  difficult  and 
precarious,  as  in  an  attempt  to  reach  the  post  assigned, 
individuals  and  isolated  parties  are  readily  intercepted 
and  overpowered. 

From  the  paucity  of  the  number  of  troops  in  the 
country  at  the  period,  it  was  the  custom  of  the  wise- 
heads  in  command  of  His  Majesty's  forces  to  break  up 
regiments  into  small  parties  for  detachment  duty.  One 
fatal  example  of  the  evil  attendant  on  such  practice 
occurred  to  a  company  of  the  North  Cork.  "It  is  diffi- 
cult to  decide,  however,  whether  the  stupidity  of  Swayne 
or  the  treachery  of  Esmonde  M  is  most  to  be  condemned. 
A  man  may  trifle  with  himself  individually,  but  for 
him  who  turns  right  or  left  from  the  plain  path  which 
duty  points  to,  and  compromises  the  safety  of  those 
committed  to  his  charge,  there  can  be  no  extenuation. 
For  Swayne's  folly  there  can  be  no  apology  ;  his 
pickets  should  have  been  doubled.  A  cart — a  ladder 
drawn  across  the  street,  would  have  marked  suffi- 
ciently where  those  who  came  to  surrender  arms  might 
approach  with  full  security;  a  step  beyond  it,  if  the 


14 

challenge  failed,  the  advanced  sentry  shot  the  intruder 
dead,  and  the  garrison  was  at  once  alarmed.  "  So  much 
for  Swayne ;"  his  weakness  was  inexcusable.  He  died 
its  victim — ignobly  certainly,  but  still  by  the  weapon 
of  the  foemen.  Esmonde  met  the  doom  he  merited* — 
a  halter. 

The  following  account  from  Mr.  Froude's  "  English  in 
Ireland,"  page  359,  vol.  iii.,  is  believed  to  be  perfectly 
authentic. 


Maxwell. 


■  inn  iiiiii  inn  i  iiiiii  mi I ■■■■■■■  mill ■■■■■■r*."li 


pribgeti  Recount 


OF   THE 


IEISH  KEBELLION 


1798. 


FROM  "MAXWELL'S  HISTORY,"  &c,  &c. 


CHAPTER  III. 

Irish  Rebellion,  1798. 

"1798,  24th  Mat/. — Captain  Swayne  was  at  Prosperous 
in  the  County  Kildare,  with  a  detachment  consisting  of 
sixty  men  of  the  North  Cork  Militia  and  twenty- three 
of  Wynn's  Ancient  Britons  Dragoons.  Among  the 
officers  of  the  Clane  Yeomanry — a  party  of  which  corps 
was  stationed  at  the  village  from  whence  it  took  its 
name,  about  two  miles  from  Prosperous — was  a  gentle- 
man named  Esmonde,  who  affected  loyalty  for  the 
better  service  of  his  country  and  her  cause.  He  had 
seduced  the  majority  of  his  corps  ;  he  was  in  accurate 
correspondence  with  the  insurgent  leaders  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood. It  was  arranged  that,  on  the  preconcerted 
signal — the  non- arrival  of  the  mail  from  Dublin  on 
the  night  of  the  23rd — Naas,  Clane,  aud  Prosperous 
were  to  be  attacked  at  the  same  moment.  Esmonde 
and  the  disaffected  yeomen  were  to  assist,  and  the 
officers  and  the  loyal  part  of  the  soldiers  were  to  be 
destroyed.  Surprise  was  an  essential  part  of  the  scheme. 
At  the  latter  place  many  of  the  soldiers  were  billetted 
in  private  houses.     If  off  their  guard,  they  might  be 


17 

found  divided,  and  then  could  be  easily  dealt  with. 
Swayne  had  been  directed  to  collect  the  arms  of  the 
people  at  Prosperous.  On  Sunday,  the  20th  of  Ma}r, 
he  took  his  company  of  the  North  Cork  to  the  Roman 
Catholic  Chapel.  Father  Higgins,  the  priest,  addressed 
his  congregation  on  the  duty  of  submission  to  the 
authorities ;  and  Esmonde,  who  had  ridden  over  from 
Clane  in  the  morning  to  support  his  brother  officer, 
spoke  to  them  as  a  Catholic  in  the  same  tone.  A  number 
of  peasants,  in  apparent  obedience,  surrendered  their 
pikes.  In  the  priest's  presence  they  expressed  regret 
for  having  been  betrayed  into  the  conspiracy,  and  pro- 
mised to  have  no  more  to  do  with  it. 

"  To  avoid  recognition  by  his  comrades,  Esmonde 
undertook  to  lead  the  attack  at  Prosperous,  leaving  his 
own  captain  deserted,  to  be  destroyed  by  others.  On 
the  afternoon  of  the  23rd,  when  the  hour  was  drawing: 
near,  he  paid  Swayne  a  visit,  and  dined  with  him  at  a 
hotel  in  the  town.  Father  Higgins  was  present,  and 
he  and  Esmonde  told  Captain  Swayne  that  the  people 
were  really  penitent.  Yery  many  of  them  wished  to 
give  up  their  arms,  but  they  dare  not  bring  them  in 
the  day  for  fear  of  being  recognised  by  their  con- 
federates ;  they  would  have  brought  them  at  night,  and 
have  laid  them  down  in  the  street,  but  they  were  afraid 
of  the  sentinels.  Swayne,  credulous  and  good-natured, 
suspected  nothing.  He  ordered  the  sentinels,  if  they 
saw  men  moving  in  the  street  after  dark,  to  take  no 
notice  of  them.     The  mails  left  Dublin  that  night  as 


18 

usual.  They  were  all  stopped  on  the  roads  by  the 
country  people,  according  to  instructions,  and  the  call 
to  arms  went  out.  At  two  in  the  morning,  when  sleep 
was  deepest,  before  the  streaks  of  dawn  had  begun  to 
show,  Esmonde,  with  his  Clane  yeomen,  a  multitude  of 
ruffians,  armed  chiefly  with  pikes,  came  into  Prosperous. 
The  sentinels  gave  no  alarm,  and  were  killed;  and 
then,  at  once,  before  a  note  of  warning  had  been  raised, 
the  rebel  band  flung  themselves,  with  a  wild  yell,  upon 
the  barracks ;  the  door  went  down.  Swayne's  room 
was  on  the  ground  floor ;  they  plunged  in  and  stabbed 
him  as  he  was  springing  from  his  bed.  The  soldiers, 
startled  out  of  their  sleep,  snatched  their  muskets  and 
rushed  out.  The  mob  swung  back  into  the  street, 
barricaded  the  doors  to  keep  them  secure,  and  then 
flung  fire  into  the  cellars,  which  were  filled  with  straw 
and  faggots.  Beset  on  all  sides,  the  miserable  men 
were  driven  from  the  lower  rooms  up  the  stairs ;  as  the 
flames  pursued  them,  they  sprung  out  of  the  windows, 
the  mob  below  catching  them  as  they  fell  on  their 
pikes,  and,  as  each  victim  writhed  upon  the  point, 
received  him  with  a  fierce  'Hurrah!'  The  North 
Cork  were  Irishmen  and  Catholics,  but  received  no 
mercy.  All  who  were  in  the  barracks  were  killed  or 
desperately  wounded. 

"  The  Ancient  Britons  —  the  remainder  of  poor 
S  wayne's  force — were  quartered  in  a  private  house ;  they, 
too,  were  hated  equally,  for  they  had  made  themselves 
notorious  in  the  disarming  of  Ulster.     Eight  of  the 


19 

twenty-three  leaped  out  of  a  back  window  and  escaped 
across  the  country  in  the  darkness,  the  rest  were  killed, 
their  horses,  arms,  and  uniforms  taken  by  the  rebels. 

"  Retribution  was,  however,  close  at  hand.  At  Clane 
there  were  no  barracks;  the  troops  were  billetted  about 
the  place  in  twos  and  threes,  and  were  thus  more 
dangerously  exposed  than  at  Prosperous.  The  attack, 
however  had  been  delaj^edtill  dawn.  Captain  Griffiths, 
who  was  in  command  of  a  party  of  the  Armagh 
Militia  and  a  corps  of  local  yeomanry,  felt  for  some 
reason  uneasy  and  sleepless.  Looking  from  his  window 
he  saw  files  of  armed  'men  coming  in  alon^ 
the  roads.  He  gave  the  alarm  in  time  to  enable 
the  Armagh  to  dress  and  snatch  their  muskets. 
The  street  was  full  as  they  came  out,  but  the  men  fought 
their  way  towards  one  another,  formed  into  line,  and 
charged.  Having  failed  in  their  surprise,  the  rebels 
showed  their  usual  inability  to  encounter  disciplined 
men.  Though  fifty  to  one,  they  turned  and  ran  out  of 
the  town.  Outside  they  were  joined  by  parties  coming 
up  from  Prosperous.  Cheered  by  the  news  their  friends 
brought,  they  formed  again,  and  returned  to  the  attack. 
They  were  received  with  a  steady  fire,  which  they  were 
unable  to  face.  Falling  fast  they  wavered  and  broke. 
Esmonde  had  carried  with  him  all  the  yeomanry  but 
seventeen — these  few  charged  and  completed  the  route, 
and  the  wretches,  masquerading  as  Ancient  Britons 
were  every  one  cut  down.  It  was  now  six  o'clock,  p.m. 
Details  had  come    in    of    the    frightful   disaster  at 


20 

Prosperous.  Pursuit  with  so  small  a  force  was  impos- 
sible. Griffiths  recalled  his  men,  and  reviewed  his 
losses,  and,  unable  to  account  for  the  shortness  of 
numbers  in  the  yeomanry,  ordered  them  to  parade. 
Those  who  had  been  concerned  in  the  night's  work  had 
come  back  expecting  to  find  as  complete  a  sweep  of 
their  comrades  as  they  had  made  themselves  of  Swayne 
and  the  "  North  Cork."  Finding  the  day  gone  against 
them,  they  either  dispersed  or  stole  into  their  quarters 
unperceived.  Esmonde  especially  contrived  to  reach 
his  room  to  wash,  dress,  and  powder  himself,  as  a  dog 
would  do  after  a  midnight  orgie  among  sheep,  and  pre- 
sented himself  in  his  place  in  the  ranks  as  if  he  had 
never  been  absent  from  quarters. 

"There  was  no  time  for  inquiry.  A  messenger 
galloped  up  at  the  moment  with  the  news  that  Lord 
Gosport  was  at  Naas,  and  required  instant  help.  The 
men  swallowed  a  hasty  breakfast.  Griffiths  was  in  the 
saddle  ready  to  start,  when  a  note  was  slipped  into  his 
hand  telling  him  that  Esmonde  had  led  the  rebels  at 
Prosperous.  He  thrust  it  into  his  pocket,  and  said 
nothing  till  he  reached  Naas,  when  the  treacherous 
officer  was  placed  in  arrest,  sent  to  Dublin,  tried  by 
Court  Martial,  and  was  promptly  hanged.  At  Naas  it 
was  found  that  the  attack  had  failed  as  at  Clane,  but 
not  until  after  a  sharper  struggle.  Gosport,  more 
fortunate  than  Swayne  or  Griffiths,  had  received  notice 
to  be  prepared  on  the  evening  preceding.  The  alarm 
was  sounded  at  half  past  two  in  the  morning.     The 


21 

rebel  columns  were  entering  on  four  sides.  They  forced 
their  way  into  the  gaol,  where  they  were  received  with 
grape  from  some  field  pieces,  and  with  a  heavy  musketry 
fire.  They  bore  three  volleys  before  they  gave  way. 
Thirty  of  them  were  found  dead  in  the  streets,  and  as 
many  more  in  the  fields  and  lanes  outside  the  town. 
The  troops  in  turn  had  suffered  severely.  The  rebels 
had  fought  with  dangerous  courage,  and  their  evidently 
enormous  numbers  created  just  and  serious  misgivings, 
for,  in  fact,  they  were  everywhere,  and  all  day  long  the 
smoke  of  burning  homesteads  was  seen  rising  from 
every  point  of  the  horizon." 


CHAPTER  IV. 

The  Rebel  Army. 

On  the  27th  of  May,  by  mid-day,  the  rebel  army, 
numbering  5,000,  encamped  on  the  Hill  of  Oulart, 
under  the  command  of  Father  John  Murphy,  of  Boola- 
vogue.  He  was  the  son  of  a  peasant  at  Ferns  in  the 
same  county  (Wexford) ;  he  had  been  educated  for 
the  priesthood  at  Seville ;  had  settled  in  his  own 
country,  a  few  miles  from  his  birthplace,  and  had  there 
remained  waiting  for  the  Salvation  of  Israel,  and  had 
grown  into  a  big,  coarse,  powerful  man  of  forty,  when 
his  country  called  upon  him  for  his  services.  It  is  to 
be  hoped  that  his  action  was  unpremeditated,  for  he 
had  recently  taken  an  oath  of  allegiance,  and  made 
solemn  protests  of  loyalty  to  the  King  and  Constitution. 
The  news  that  the  people  were  out  had  been  brought 
early  in  the  day  into  Wexford.  All  the  morning 
messengers  were  coming  in  bringing  accounts  of  the 
murdering  and  burning,  and  praying  for  help  to  those 
who  were  left  exposed.  The  garrison  in  the  town  was 
scanty,  but  Lieutenant- Colonel  Foote  was  despatched 
after  breakfast  with  a  hundred  and  ten  men  of  his 
regiment  (the  North  Cork),  and  thirty  or  forty  mounted 


23 

yeomanry  of  Lehunt's,  a  force  considered  amply  suffi- 
cient to  subdue  any  resistance  which  they  were  likely 
to  meet  with,  and  supposing  that  he  had  to  deal  only 
with  a  contemptible  mob,  Lt.  Colonel  Foote  had  flung 
himself  on  a  body  of  men  fifty  times  his  number,  mad 
with  the  excitement  of  a  religious  war,  and  armed  with 
a  weapon  which,  in  determined  hands,  was  gradually 
discovered  to  be  a  formidable  one. 

Father  John,  seeing  that  he  was  to  be  attacked,  had 
divided  his  force  with  extemporized  generalship. 
Finding  the  rebels  stand  better  than  they  expected, 
the  troops  recoiled  to  re-form.  When  they  found  that 
they  were  surrounded,  and  their  retreat  cut  off,  most  of 
the  yeomen  deserted  their  comrades,  and  the  North 
Cork  were  cut  down  almost  to  a  man.  There  were  no 
wounded  in  those  battles ;  every  one  who  fell  was 
despatched.  The  colonel  only — with  a  sergeant  and 
three  privates — made  their  way  back  to  Wexford. 
Major  Lombard,  Captain  DeCourcy,  and  four  other 
officers  had  been  killed,  namely,  Lieutenants  Williams, 
Ware,  and  Barry,  and  Ensign  Keogh. 

The  effect  of  Foot's  defeat  was  frightful.  The  widows 
and  children  of  the  North  Cork  men,  who  had  fallen  at 
Oulart,  rushed  about  the  streets  of  Wexford,  wringing 
their  hands  and  shrieking,  in  the  most  wretched  state. 
Fierce,  gJoomy  knots  of  men  gathered  about  the  quays 
whilst  the  Protestant  ladies  and  clergy  took  refuge  in 
the  ships  in  the  harbour,  offering  high  prices  for  a 
passage   to   Wales.      The  panic   spread  through   the 


24 

country.  The  Protestant  families  crowded  on  all  sides 
into  the  nearest  towns ;  while  Father  John,  reposing 
for  the  night  on  his  field  of  glory,  sent  out  his  scouts, 
calling  on  all  the  peasants  to  shoulder  their  pikes  and 
join  him  onthefollowingmorning.  On  the  Slaney,  twelve 
miles  above  Wexford,  stands  the  town  of  Enniscorthv. 
The  river  is  crossed  here  by  a  bridge — the  town  itself 
stands  on  the  west  side.  This  station — as  commanding 
the  passage  between  the  two  divisions  of  the  country — 
was  important  enough  to  have  retained  a  tolerable 
garrison  composed  of  eighty  men  of  the  "  North  Cork," 
so  many  of  whose  comrades  had  lately  fallen  at  Oulart 
and  Prosperous,  a  hundred  and  sixty  yeomen  belonging 
to  Enniscorthy  itself,  and  sixty  more  from  Ferns  and 
the  adjoining  baronies.  Captain  Snowe,  of  the  North 
Cork,  was  in  command.  Captain  Drury,  a  local  officer 
of  yeomanry,  who  commanded  under  him — had  seen 
service  in  the  American  war.  Father  John's  perform- 
ances had  sent  every  Protestant  in  the  neighbourhood, 
who  had  escaped  his  pikemen,  into  Enniscorthy  for 
shelter.  Several  hundred — the  greater  part  of  them 
women,  children,  and  old  men — had  crowded  into  the 
town  on  Sunday,  where,  if  their  property  was  destroyed, 
they  believed  their  lives  would  be  safe.  But  Father 
John,  after  his  victory  over  Foote,  aspired  to  be  the 
liberator  of  his  country.  He  required  possession  of 
Enniscorthy  Bridge,  that  he  might  open  his  way  to 
New  Boss  and  Kilkenny.  Oulart  was  but  five  miles 
distant,  and  Snowe  was  not  long  in  learning  that  he 


25 


must  prepare  to  be  attacked  in  the  morniug.  He  hud 
the  yeomen's  families  to  protect  as  well  as  the  fugitives 
from  the  country.  Under  these  hard  circumstances  he 
made  the  best  dispositions  in  his  power.  He  arrested 
the  most  dangerous  of  the  inhabitants,  and  locked  them 
up  in  the  gaol  and  market- house.  The  North  Cork 
were  posted  on  the  bridge,  on  the  direct  road  from 
Oulart ;  the  yeomen  were  placed  at  the  back,  where 
the  road  entered  from  the  west.  In  this  position  they 
lay  under  arms  through  the  Whit- Sunday  night. 

Father  John  was  early  astir  on  the  morning  of  Whit- 
Sunday.  His  call  had  been  well  answered  ;  the  news 
of  his  first  triumph  had  rung  a  peal  through  every 
parish.  Among  those  who  had  come  in  to  him  before 
day-break  were  a  few  score  of  duck- shooters,  from  the 
marshes — experienced  shots,  armed  with  their  fowling- 
pieces.  He  had  secured  the  muskets  and  pouches  of 
the  dead  soldiers,  and  he  found  himself  with  eight 
hundred  men,  possessed  of  firearms  of  one  kind  or 
another,  besides  5,000  pikemen.  It  was  a  hot,  bril- 
liant morning.  Father  John  was  a  born  general ; 
he  threw  out  skirmishers  on  either  side  of  him, 
who  availed  themselves  of  the  natural  cover  and 
pressed  on  from  bank  to  bank.  According  to  the  ancient 
Irish  custom,  he  drove  along  the  road  in  front  of 
him  a  herd  of  wild  cattle,  goaded  into  madness,  who 
rushed  into  the  yeomen's  lines  ;  the  duck-shooters  fired 
steadily.  Captain  Drury  said  that  in  all  his  American 
experience  he  had  never  seen  guns  better  handled.   The 


26 

soldiers  were  raw  hands,  caught  up  but  a  few  weeks 
before,  and  scarcely  better  disciplined  than  the  rebels. 
Outnumbered  twenty  to  one,  with  the  cattle  plunging 
upon  them,  and  losing  men  fast,  the  yeomen  sent  to 
Captain  Snowe  for  assistance,  but  he  had  by  this  time 
his  own  hands  full  at  the  river,  and  was  in  need  of  much 
help  himself.  The  troops  gave  way,  but  very  slowly 
fighting,  inch  by  inch,  desperately.  Still  numbers  toltl. 
As  the  rebels  advanced  they  set  fire  to  the  houses  on 
each  side  of  the  street,  and  the  battle  went  on  under  an 
arch  of  flame  ;  the  inhabitants  seeing  the  soldiers  retir- 
ing, fired  upon  them  from  the  windows,  and  the  streets 
were  filled  with  the  dead  and  dying,  five  rebels  falling 
for  each  yeoman.  Themselves  under  shelter,  they  sent 
their  volleys  with  destructive  effect  into  the  exposed 
mass  of  men  who  were  struggling  within  ten  paces  of 
their  guns,  and  Father  John  seeing  he  could  make  no 
further  progress,  and  was  throwing  away  lives  unneces- 
sarily, fell  back  to  the  fields  outside,  and  prepared  to 
try  again  at  nightfall. 

Meanwhile  Captain  Snowe,  with  his  company  of  the 
North  Cork,  had  held  his  ground  gallantly,  though  with 
less  difficulty  than  the  yeomen,  as  his  men  had  been 
better  protected  by  situation.  Foiled  at  the  bridge, 
where  they  fell  in  scores,  the  rebels  had  twice  attempted 
to  force  a  passage  above  and  below  it,  but  were  driven 
back  at  both  points,  and  by  two  o'clock  the  town  was 
cleared,  and  Enniscorthy  was  still  in  possession  of  the 
loyalists. 


27 

But  in  what  condition  was  it  left  ?  Half  the  town  was 
burning  ;  five  hundred  rebels  lay  about  the  streets 
dead  and  dying  ;  the  prisons  were  filled  with  desperate 
men,  whom  there  was  no  force  to  guard ;  the  Catholic 
inhabitants  were  furious  ;  of  the  scanty  garrison  a  third 
had  been  killed,  besides  the  wounded ;  and  an  unknown 
number  of  Protestant  gentlemen  and  tradesmen  who 
had  given  their  services  had  fallen  also.  Outside  was 
the  fast  increasing  insurgent  army,  savage  for  revenge  ; 
within  were  several  hundred  unfortunate  beings — 
families  of  tradesmen  and  farmers,  households  of  gentry 
and  clergy — all  now  on  a  common  level  of  misery.  The 
garrison  might  maintain  themselves  in  the  gaol,  but 
those  forlorn  people,  when  the  rebels  broke  in  again, 
must  inevitably  be  sacrificed.  To  prevent  a  scene 
which  would  have  rivalled  the  worst  infamies  of  1641, 
Snowe  decided  on  evacuating  the  town,  and  escorting 
his  charge  to  Wexford.  It  was  a  frightful  alternative. 
The  distance  was  but  twelve  miles,  and  the  weather  was 
dry  and  warm  ;  but  there  were  no  carriages,  no  horses, 
save  the  few  belonging  to  the  mounted  yeomanry,  and 
these,  though  cheerfully  surrendered,  were  altogether 
inadequate. 

There  were  wounded  men  to  be  transported,  and 
delicate  ladies,  and  little  children,  too  young  to  walkf 
too  old  for  their  mothers  to  carry  them,  and  the  infirm 
and  aged,  and  the  sick  and  impotent,  yet  to  leave  them 
behind  was  to  leave  them  to  certain  death.  Late  in  the 
afternoon  the  miserable  march  began.     The  insurgents 


28 

rushed  in  as  the  troops  filed  out.  Women  unable  to 
reach  the  bridge  waded  the  river  to  escape  with  their 
babies  on  their  backs.  The  march  was  rapid.  Two 
miles  below,  on  the  Wexford  road,  they  passed  a  wood, 
known  as  the  wood  of  St.  John,  or  Ringwood,  and 
many  poor  creatures,  struggling  painfully  on,  were 
tempted  to  fling  themselves  down  among  the  brush- 
wood, hoping  to  lie  concealed  there  till  morning.  The 
rest  of  stronger  limb,  or  stouter  spirit,  pushed  on,  and, 
soon  after  nightfall,  found  a  brief  respite  from  their 
sufferings  within  Wexford  gates. 

Father  John's  object  now  was  Wexford  City,  and  on 
the  night  of  the  26th  May  he  encamped  within  four 
miles  of  it,  at  a  place  called  Three  Rocks.  On  Whit 
Tuesday  200  men  of  the  Donegal  Militia,  under  com- 
mand of  Colonel  Maxwell,  arrived  to  strengthen  the 
garrison,  which  was  quite  inadequate  to  cope  with  the 
overwhelming  force  at  Three  Rocks.  Half  of  the  small 
garrison  had  been  killed  at  Oulart,  and  in  less  than 
forty  hours  after  that  disaster  Enniscorthy  had  been 
captured.  The  North  Cork  had  suffered  severely  ;  one 
detachment  of  the  regiment  had  been  destroyed  at 
Prosperous,  another  at  Oulart.  At  Enniscorthy  they 
fought  splendidly,  and  had  retreated  only  before 
numbers  enormously  superior.  All  the  Irish  Mililii 
had  to  do  with  an  enemy  whose  policy  was  to  treat 
them  as  traitors  to  their  country,  and  to  refuse  all 
quarter  to  such  of  them  as  came  within  their  savage 
power. 


29 

The  fate  of  the  city  depended  upon  General  Fawcett, 
who  commanded  at  Duncannon.  He  started  from  thence 
with  two  regiments  ;  the  13th  Regiment  of  the  line  and 
the  Meath  Militia — two  companies  of  the  Meath  were 
sent  on  in  advance  with  some  artillerymen  and  a  couple 
of  guns,  but  the  General  loitered  on  the  way,  and  the 
detachment  of  the  Meath,  in  fact  the  entire  party,  were 
surprised  by  an  ambuscade  and  killed  to  a  man,  and  the 
guns  captured. 

A  few  of  the  artillerymen  were  kept  alive  to  serve 
them.  One  single  officer  alone  survived  to  carry  the 
tale  to  Maxwell.  Notwithstanding  this  disaster  Wex- 
ford might  have  been  saved  had  Fawcett  possessed 
conduct  or  courage ;  but  the  evil  spirit  of  Abercrombie 
had  unnerved  too  many  of  the  English  generals. 

Fawcett,  who  had  reached  Taghmon  in  the  morning* 
at  once  turned  back  and  retreated  on  Duncannon* 
Maxwell  pushed  out  from  the  town  hoping  to  meet  him 
on  the  road. 

He  arrived  at  Three  Rocks  only  to  find  Father  John 
too  strongly  posted  for  his  small  force  to  dislodge.  The 
mounted  yeomanry  were  unsteady  and  fled.  His 
infantry  were  driven  back  with  loss  ;  and  he  was 
obliged  to  retreat  precipitately. 

Wexford,  too,  like  Enniscorthy,  had  now  become 
untenable.  The  bulk  of  the  inhabitants  were  at  heart 
with  the  rebels,  and  were  kept  quiet  only  by  fear.  If 
Father  John  advanced  they  would  certainly  rise  and 
assist  him. 


30 

Fawcett  had  deserted  the  garrison,  and  Maxwell  him- 
self had  been  beaten  in  a  skirmish,  which  proved  that 
Father  John  was  too  strong  for  him.  The  enemy  wi  s 
without,  and  traitors  were  within. 

At  midnight  on  the  30th  May,  Maxwell  marched  out 
of  Wexford,  thirty-six  hours  after  he  had  entered  it, 
and  retreated  by  the  sea  road,  which  was  still  open  to 
Duncannon.  His  soldiers  were  charged  with  having 
been  guilty  of  some  outrages  on  the  way — burning 
houses  and  flogging  men.  It  may  have  been  so  ;  dis_ 
cipline  is  rarely  sustained  in  the  wreck  of  a  beaten 
army  ;  and  the  road  lay  through  the  Barony  of  Forth* 
which  had  supplied  Father  John  with  the  duck-shooters^ 
from  whose  long  guns  the  North  Cork  had  suffered  so 
severely  at  Enniscorthy.  Maxwell  himself  says  that  he 
reached  Duncannon  without  interruption,  which  seems 
unaccountable  as  the  spirit  of  the  rebels  was  savage  in 
consequence  of  the  beating  they  had  received  at  Ennis- 
corthy. 

Father  John  meanwhile  had  his  eyes  on  larger 
objects.  Wexford  was  now  secured,  but  a  local  rising 
could  not  hope  for  permanent  success.  If  the  insurrec- 
tion was  to  triumph,  it  must  spread ;  it  must  envelope 
Ireland. 

Nothing  had  really  been  done  till  Dublin  especially 
had  been  wrested  from  the  invader. 

The  people  were  everywhere  prepared  to  rise,  and 
the  rebel  army  had  only  to  show  itself  to  be  swollen  by 
the   local  levies,  the  object  being  the    deliverance  of 


31 


Dublin ;  the  number  of  armed  men  who  could  be  relied 
upon  was  practically  unlimited.  The  rebel  army  was 
ordered  to  move  up  the  Slaney  from  Enniscorthy,  take 
Newtownbarry,  sweep  the  loyalists  out  of  the  north  of 
the  county,  and  then,  advancing  through  Carlow  into 
Kildare,  threaten  Dublin  on  the  west. 


CHAPTER  Y. 


Battle  of  New  Ross,  5th  June,  1798. 

The  town  of  New  Ross  stands  on  the  slope  of  the  river 
Barrow,  which  rises  on  the  Wexford  bank  of  the  river. 
It  was  then  surrounded  by  a  wall  which  had  once  resisted 
Cromwell,  there  were  four  gates,  two  at  the  bottom  of 
the  town,  by  the  water  side,  through  which  the  high  road 
passed  from  Dublin  to  Waterford,  and  two  above.  When 
it  was  known  that  New  Ross  was  in  danger,  General 
Johnstone  had  been  sent  to  take  charge  of  it  with  some 
English  artillery,  a  squadron  of  dragoons,  a  Scotch 
Fencible  regiment,  the  Antrim,  the  North  Cork,  the 
Meath,  and  the  County  Dublin  regiments,  the  latter 
under  the  command  of  Colonel  Luke  Gardiner,  Yiscount 
Mountjoy. 

The  rebels  on  their  side  had  commenced  by  making 
a  camp,  six  miles  off,  at  Carrickbyrne  Hill,  from  which 
they  plundered  the  adjoining  baronies.  Having  taken 
many  Protestants,  they  availed  themselves  for  their 
safe  keeping  of  Scullabogue,  a  place  belonging  to  a 
Captain  King,  at  the  hill  foot.      They  turned  the  barn 


33 

into  a  prison  and  quartered  the  guard  in  the  dwelling- 
house.  After  being  thus  occupied  for  a  week  they 
pushed  forward  and  arrived  at  Corbet  Hill,  overhang- 
ing the  valley  of  the  Barrow.  The  troops  were  under 
arms  all  the  night  of  June  5th.  They  were  paraded  at 
two  in  the  morning,  and  as  day  began  to  break,  the 
peculiar  Irish  cry  was  heard  rising  in  gathering  waves 
of  sound,  in  the  direction  of  the  camp ;  nearer  and 
clearer  it  came  through  the  morning  air.  The  rebels 
came  on  slowly  and  in  enormous  numbers — not  less 
than  thirty  thousand ;  they  marched  in  order,  by 
parishes  and  by  baronies,  the  Dublin  regiment  under 
Mountjoy.  The  North  Cork,  the  Antrim,  and  the 
dragoons,  were  drawn  up  outside  "  Three  Bullet  Gate  " 
on  open  ground.  The  rebel  masses  bore  down  the  hill 
towards  them. 

When  about  a  musket  shot  off  they  halted.  Priests 
were  seen  moving  up  and  down  the  lines  in  their  vest- 
ments and  carrying  crucifixes.  Mass  was  said  at  the 
head  of  every  column,  the  men  kneeling  with  marked 
devotion.  For  the  moment  General  Johnstone  thought 
that  they  were  hesitating,  but  he  was  swiftly  undeceived. 
It  was  now  a  little  after  three  o'clock,  daylight  being 
scarcely  yet  fully  established,  when  the  battle  began. 
They  rose  from  their  knees,  the  lines  opened,  and 
between  them  came  herds  of  wild  cattle  rushing  on 
amidst  shouts  and  yells  which  burst  from  the  enormous 
multitude,  the  rebels  pricking  them  forward  with  their 
pikes.      A  fourth  part  of  the  rebel  army  had  fire  arms, 


34 

but  their  main  strength  was  in  the  pikemen,  who 
formed  in  column  behind  the  cattle,  and  charged  with 
the  fierceness  of  resolution  for  which  the  English  and 
Scotch  officers  present  were  quite  unprepared.  They 
rushed  upon  the  Dublin  regiment,  which  was  in  some 
confusion,  and  drove  it  back  through  the  gate  ;  Mount- 
joy  fell  and  was  carried  off  into  the  insurgent  lines. 
The  dragoons  charged,  but  without  effect,  and  recoiled 
with  loss.  A  gun  was  taken,  and  the  rebel  pikemen 
poured  into  the  town  after  the  retreating  troops. 
According  to  their  usual  tactics  they  immediately  fired 
the  houses.  Cannon  had  been  placed  in  the  long, 
straight  street,  which  leads  from  the  market  place  to  the 
"  Bullet  Gate,"  and  poured  round  shot  and  grape  into 
their  dense  masses.  Multitudes  fell.  An  entire 
column  was  annihilated — not  a  man  escaped  out  of  it. 
Brave  as  they  were,  so  terrible  a  reception  startled 
them.  They  fell  back  for  a  while,  and  the  troops  had 
time  to  rally  and  reform.  But  soon  the  rebels  came  on 
again  through  smoke  and  flame,  their  courage  and 
their  overwhelming  numbers  compensating  for  want 
of  discipline  and  inferiority  in  arms.  Nor  was  the 
pike,  in  the  hands  of  a  strong,  bold  man,  a  weapon  to 
be  lightly  regarded.  With  a  shaft  twelve  or  fifteen 
feet  in  length,  a  long  taper  point,  with  a  hook  some- 
times attached  which  would  drag  a  horseman  from  his 
saddle,  it  was  an  overmatch  under  some  conditions  for 
the  bayonet.  Johnstone's  advantage  was  in  his  heavy 
guns.      The   rebels   had    no    artillerymen,  and   such 


35 

cannon  as  they  captured  they  were  unable  to  use.  But 
the  daring  of  the  Irish  on  that  day  defied  even  artillery. 
A  spectator  from  a  window  close  to  the  spot  from 
whence  a  gun  was  strewing  the  streets  with  piles  of 
dead,  saw  a  man  rush  straight  upon  it,  and  thrust  his 
hat  into  the  smoking  muzzle,  crying,  "  Come  on  boys  ; 
her  mouth  is  stopped  ! "  In  another  second  he  was 
blown  to  atoms.  Careless  in  their  desperate  fanaticism, 
the  Irish  then  showed  in  rebellion  the  contempt  of 
danger  which,  as  soldiers  in  the  army  of  their  sove- 
reign, they  never  failed  to  show.  Four  guns  were 
taken.  They  forced  the  troops  backwards  and  down- 
wards to  the  river — part  into  the  market-place,  where, 
as  at  Enniscorthy,  the  stone  buildings  became  a 
fortress  into  which  they  could  neither  burn  nor  pene- 
rate  ;  part  down  over  the  bridge  and  into  Kilkenny. 

At  one  time  the  rebels  seemed  to  have  won  the 
day,  and  they  would  have  won  it,  could  their  leaders 
have  restrained  them  in  victory.  But  they  turned 
uncontrollably  to  plunder — incendiarism  and  whiskey, 
discipline  resumed  its  superiority.  Behind  the  river 
the  broken  troops  had  reformed.  Johnstone  led  them 
back  to  the  charge,  and  the  rebels  now  scattered  were 
driven  back  in  turn  at  the  bayonet's  point.  The  guns 
were  recovered  and  again  began  to  work  havoc  in  the 
disordered  crowds.  The  carnage  was  now  dreadful. 
No  quarter  had  been  given  by  the  rebels  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  engagement — none  was  allowed  them  at  the 
end  of  it.     They  were  driven  out  through  the  gate  at 


36 

which  they  had  entered  ;  they  attempted  a  stand  within 
the  lines  where  they  first  appeared  in  the  morning- 
Johnstone  stormed  them  and  broke  them.  There  Lord 
Mountjoy's  body  was  found  mangled  and  butchered  in 
the  most  horrid  manner,  far  from  the  place  where  he  had 
fallen.  Mountjoy  was  the  Luke  Gardiner  of  '82  who 
had  wrung  from  the  Protestant  Parliament  the  first 
concessions  to  the  Catholics.  And  this  was  his  reward. 
The  sight  of  their  commander,  thus  brutally  mutilated, 
drove  the  militia  into  fury  ;  they  had  generally  behaved 
excellently  in  action,  but  when  the  fighting  was  over 
they  could  be  no  longer  restrained.  The  carnage  was 
now  shocking.  The  troops  were  exasperated  and  could 
not  be  stopped.  The  scene  became  too  hideous  to  be 
described.  The  battle  had  raged  for  eleven  hours  ;  it 
began  at  four  in  the  morning  and  lasted  until  three  in 
the  afternoon,  when  it  was  at  last  over.  Musgrave,  in 
his  "  History  of  the  Bebellion"  (vol.  ii.,  c.  16),  placed 
the  numbers  of  the  rebels  who  were  killed  in  the  fight 
and  after  it  at  2,600. 

The  North  Cork  in  this  action  lost  in  killed  and 
wounded  nearly  200  officers  and  men. 

It  will  be  remembered  that  the  rebels  when  encamped 
at  Carrickbyrne  had  seized  many  of  the  Protestants  of  the 
neighbourhood  and  had  shut  them  up  in  Captain  King's 
house  at  Scullabogue.  One  hundred  and  eighty-four  of 
them,  chiefly  old  men,  women,  and  children,  who  had 
been  taken  because  they  were  too  helpless  to  escape, 
were  confined  in  a  barn  thirty-four  feet  long  and  fifteen 


37 

wide.  Amongst  those  were  the  wives  and  children  of 
the  hated  "  North  Cork  "  men  who  had  fallen  into  the 
insurgents'  hands. 

When  the  first  check  occurred,  June  5,  '98,  in  the 
streets  of  New  Ross,  a  party  of  the  insurgents,  who  were 
cowards  as  well  as  savages,  turned  their  backs  and  ran. 
Before  nine  in  the  morning  they  came  panting  to  the 
door  of  Scullabogue  declaring  that  the  day  was  lost, 
and  that  they  had  brought  orders  for  the  prisoners  to 
be  put  to  death,  as  they  might  otherwise  be  dangerous 
— the  miserable  beings  who  had  been  pent  up  there 
through  a   summer's   afternoon  and  must   have   been 
in  a  condition  in  which  death  would  be  a  relief  to  most 
of  them.     In   the   barn   thev   were   at   that   moment 
crushed  so  close  together  that  their  bodies  supported 
each  other,   and  they  could  neither  sit  nor  lie  down. 
The  doors  were  barred  on  the  outside,  and  the  rebels 
with    their  pikes     thrust    blazing    faggots    into   the 
thatch.       The    majority    must    have    been    instantly 
suffocated.     Those  who  were  near   the   walls   sought 
chinks  aud  cracks  for  air,    but  were  driven  back  by 
pike-points  thrust  into  the  openings.     One  little  child 
crawled  under  the  door  and  was  escaping,  when  a  rebel 
ran  a  pike  into  it  as  a  peasant  does  a  pitchfork  into  a 
cornsheaf  and  tossed  it  back  into  the  flames.     A  woman 
who  came  four  days  later  to  look  for  the  remains  of  her 
husband  and  son,  found  the  ruins  of  the  barn  full  of 
blackened   bodies  all  in   a   standing   posture,  an  un- 
intended confirmation  of  the  received  estimate  of  the 
number  of  those  who  perished  there.  D 


CHAPTER  VI. 

Battle  of  Arklow,  June  10th,  1798. 

The  check  at  New  Ross  had,  for  the  present,  saved 
Waterford  and  Kilkenny.  Colonel  L'Estrange  had 
blocked  the  road  into  Kildare,  but  Arklow  was  un- 
garrisoned ;  and  at  all  hazards  it  was  necessary  to  open 
the  passage  to  Arklow.  General  Needham  reached  the 
town  on  the  6th  of  June  with  the  Cavan  Militia.  He 
gathered  up  as  many  men  as  he  could  find,  and  armed 
a  few  additional  volunteers  and  yeomen,  but  with  all 
his  efforts  the  force  in  Arklow  remained  inferior  to  that 
which  had  so  hardly  defended  New  E-oss,  while  Father 
John's  rebel  division  was  far  superior,  and  had  he  come 
on  to  Arklow  at  once,  he  could  easily  have  overwhelmed 
Needham  ;  happily  he  had  lingered  on  the  road  burning 
Protestant  houses,  and  at  midnight,  between  the  8th 
and  9th  of  June,  three  hundred  men  belonging  to  the 
Durham  Fencibles  arrived  under  Colonel  Skerritt.  The 
Durham  was  the  most  distinguished  regiment  in  Ireland. 
When  it  was  called  on  for  service  in  Wexford,  the  rebels 
were  so  conscious  of  its  value  that  they  placed  7,000 
men  in  ambush  to  destroy  it,  but  Skerritt  brought  his 
men    safely  through,  and  with   the   addition   of  the 


39 

Durham,  General  Needham's  force  was  raised  to  1,600 
men  ;  of  these  120  were  the  survivors  of  Sir  Watkin 
Wynn's  Ancient  Britons,  the  rest  consisted  of  800  Irish 
Militia,  300  Arklow  Yeomanry,  100  Scotch  Regulars 
and  the  Durham  Regiment. 

Arklow  stands  at  the  mouth  of  the  Avoca  river,  which 
runs  down  out  of  the  Wicklow  Hills,  and  then  falls  into 
the  sea  at  Arklow.  The  river  is  crossed  by  a  bridge 
over  which  passed  the  only  available  road  for  a  large 
body  of  men  from  Wexford  into  Wicklow,  and  over  this 
bridge  lay  Father  John's  way  if  he  meant  to  reach 
Dublin. 

Needham's  position  was  simple.  Skerritt  and  the 
Durhams,  with  a  party  of  the  Antrim  Militia,  under 
Colonel  O'Hara,  and  three  six-pounder  guns,  held  the 
town  of  Gorey.  A  barricade  of  carts  had  been  placed 
in  the  street,  and  the  men  had  been  thrown  out  on 
either  side  of  it.  Sheltered  among  the  hedges  and 
cabins,  two  companies  of  the  "  North  Cork,"  with 
another  gun,  covered  the  back  of  the  town,  and  a 
squadron  of  dragoons  was  across  the  bridge  out  of  shot 
range  on  the  Wicklow  side  of  the  river  to  be  used  as 
occasion  might  serve.  The  fight  began  on  the  sea  side ; 
the  right  column  of  the  rebels  came  plunging  along  the 
sands ;  the  green  banners  waving ;  the  priests  with 
pistols  and  crucifixes ;  the  Irish  cry  rising  and  falling 
in  fitful  cadences  like  the  swell  of  an  iEolian  harp. 
They  had  no  cattle  with  them,  and,  as  at  Ross,  with 
their  first  rush  they  drove  the  soldiers  back.    They  fired 


40 

a  row  of  fisherman's  cabins  at  the  end  of  the  street.  A 
piquet  of  Ancient  Britons  had  to  gallop  through  the 
flames  in  retreating,  and,  unable  to  reach  the  bridge, 
had  to  swim  their  horses  through  the  river.  The  road 
turns  at  a  right  angle  as  it  reaches  the  town,  and,  as 
the  rebels  rounded  the  corner,  they  were  received  with 
a  fire  which  staggered  them  and  drove  them  back. 
They  formed  again  and  again,  they  fought  their  way 
desperately  to  the  bridge  foot — recoiled,  and  again 
advanced,  but  could  never  pass  that  point.  On  their 
last  retreat  the  dragoons  were  let  loose  upon  them,  and 
cut  them  down  as  they  scattered  among  the  sand  hills. 
The  attack  on  the  Gorev  road  was  more  successful,  and 
the  fighting  more  severe.  Father  Michael  Murphy  and 
his  brother  priests  here  distinguished  themselves. 
Political  lay  conspirators  in  Ireland  have  been  magnifi- 
cent on  the  platform,  but  have  uniformly  been  found 
wanting  in  the  field.  The  courage  of  their  opinions  was 
the  Catholic  peasantry,  and  their  natural  chiefs  the 
clergy.  The  battery  behind  the  barricade  completely 
swept  the  road.  Twice  the  priests  led  on  their  followers 
through  musket  shot,  round  shot  and  grape,  to  the 
very  muzzles  of  the  guns,  the  priests  coming  so  close 
that  they  shot  the  gunners  at  their  posts  with  their 
pistols.  Twice  they  failed — the  second  time  with  such 
desperate  loss  that  they  wavered  and  sought  shelter  among 
the  walls.  Father  Michael  seized  a  standard  with  a 
blazoned  cross  upon  it,  and,  "  Liberty  or  Death."  Con- 
spicuous on  horseback,  he  rode  out,  and  dragged  from 


41 

his  pocket  a  handful  of  balls,  which  he  swore  he  had 
caught  as  they  reached  him.  "  Come  on,  boys,"  he 
cried,  "  the  heretic  bullets  can  never  hurt  you.  You 
are  fighting  for  your  God  and  Mother  Church."  A 
third  time  they  charged,  with  a  contempt  of  death  that 
was  really  admirable.  They  seemed  determined  to 
take  the  guns,  when  a  round  shot,  against  which  even 
Father  Michael's  spells  could  not  avail,  caught  him  and 
his  horse,  and  hurled  them  into  ruin.  Sullenly  and 
slowly  the  rebels  then  drew  back,  leaving  the  ground 
covered  with  their  dead.  Even  yet  they  might  have 
tried  once  more,  but  it  grew  dark,  and  night,  rather 
than  defeat,  ended  an  engagement  more  desperate  than 
even  the  battle  of  New  Boss  had  been. 

General  Needham  reported  that  he  had  held  his 
ground.  He  could  say  no  more,  and  he  added  that  he 
expected  to  be  attacked  again  with  thrice  the  number  of 
assailants*  on  the  following  morning. 

*  Needham's  letter  to  General  Lake,  June  10.  Musgrave's  "  History 
of  Irish  Rebellion,  '98." 

A  letter  from  Lord  Castlereagh  to  Mr.  "Wickham  of  this  date 
(June  12th,  '98)  states  that  the  Cabinet  had  roused  themselves  at 
last.  The  mail  on  the  evening  of  the  11th  brought  word  that  the 
4 '  Guards"  were  on  their  way,  and  that  other  regiments  were  preparing 
to  follow.  The  number  of  the  insurgents  is  immense,  so  great  as  to 
make  it  prudent  to  assemble  a  very  considerable  force  before  an 
attempt  is  made  to  penetrate  this  difficult  and  enclosed  country.  The 
conduct  of  the  Militia  and  Yeomanry  has  exceeded  our  most  sanguine 
expectations.  A  very  few  of  the  Yeomanry  have  been  corrupted, 
but  in  no  instance  have  the  Militia  failed  to  show  the  most  determined 
spirit. 


CHAPTER  VII. 
Vinegar  Hill,  June  21st,  '98. 

At  three  o'clock  on  the  morning  of  June  2 1st,  accord- 
ing to  General  Lake's  dispositions,  Vinegar  Hill  was 
stormed,  and  the  columns  closed  in  on  the  Irish  camp. 
The  divisions  of  Generals  Dundas  and  Loftus  came 
down  the  east  bank  of  the  Slaney,  and  spread  over  a 
front  of  almost  over  a  mile,  and  as  they  approached  the 
hill,  formed  round  it,  and  General  Johnstone  came  up 
simultaneously  from  Ballymakessy.  The  rebel  army, 
1,600  strong,  was  drawn  up  on  the  open  ground  on  the 
brow.  General  Lake  with  Dundas  attacked  on  the  east 
side,  Sir  James  Duff  with  part  of  General  Loftus' 
division,  on  the  north-west.  On  three  sides  they  forced 
their  way  simultaneously  up  the  slope.  The  rebels  held 
their  ground  for  an  hour  and  a  half  with  moderate  firm- 
ness. Lake's  horse  was  killed  under  him  early  in  the 
action.  Father  Clinch  of  Enniscorthy,  an  enormous 
man  on  a  tall  white  horse,  specially  distinguished  him- 
self. But  successive  defeats  had  cooled  the  courage 
which  had  been  so  eminent  at  Arklow  and  New  Ross. 
There  was  no  longer  the  contempt  of  death  which  will 
make    even    the   least   disciplined  enemy   formidable. 


43 

Lord  Koden  singled  out  Father  Clinch  and  killed  him. 
The  rebels  were  afraid  of  being  surrounded  ;  and  seeing 
the  southern  side  of  the  hill  still  open,  they  fled  down 
it,  and  escaped  through  Needham's  Gap  to  Wexford 
from  the  scene  of  their  brief  and  wild  supremacy.  The 
army  rested  for  the  day  on  the  ground,  burying  the 
dead  and  examining,  with  ever- gathering  indignation, 
the  traces  of  the  butcheries  which  had  been  perpetrated 
there.  The  rebels  with  their  surviving  generals,  Father 
John,  once  invincible,  now  twice  beaten,  and  savage  in 
his  despair  ;  John  Hay,  Edward  Fitzgerald,  and  Father 
Kerne,  streamed  away  down  the  east  side  of  the  Slaney. 
Some  crossed  the  river  at  Carrick  Ferry,  three  miles 
above  Wexford  ;  some  went  on  to  the  bridge  and  rushed 
mad  and  furious  into  the  town,  threatening  vengeance 
on  every  Protestant  still  in  their  hands.  It  would  have 
gone  hard  with  the  prisoners  there  ;  but  on  the  other 
side  General  Moore  was  coming  on  from  Taghmon.  Two 
hours  at  most  would  bring  him  to  the  gates.  Bishop 
Caulfield  and  his  priests  were  energetic  enough  now  to 
prevent  a  renewal  of  the  murders.  If  Moore  came  up 
when  such  work  was  goiDg  forward,  the  town  might  pay 
for  it  as  it  paid  before.  They  turned  out  into  the 
streets,  exhorting,  praying,  threatening,  imploring  the 
armed  insurgents  to  leave  the  town  while  there  was 
time,  and  to  give  no  fresh  provocation  to  the  soldiers. 
The  cause,  they  said,  was  plainly  lost  for  the  present.  Lord 
Kingsborough,  commanding  the  North  Cork  Militia, 
had  promised  that  life  and  property  should  be  respected 


44 

if  no  more  blood  was  shed.  For  the  sake  of  Ireland, 
for  the  sake  of  their  holy  religion,  for  the  sake  of  all 
they  held  dear  on  earth  or  heaven,  they  besought  the 
rebels  to  spare  the  city  the  risk  of  being  stormed  and 
sacked  by  the  bloody  Orangemen.  Their  prayers 
prevailed,  and  in  prevailing  left  them  with  the  less 
excuse  for  their  apathy  on  the  preceding  day.  Towards 
sunset  part  of  the  rebels  filed  back  over  the  bridge  out 
of  the  town.  Dixon,  their  leader,  and  his  wife,  on 
horseback,  threw  themselves  in  their  way,  praying  them 
to  stay  at  least  till  they  had  dispatched  the  remaining 
prisoners.  They  were  borne  away  in  the  crowd,  the 
women  screaming,  "  We  shall  conquer  yet ;  my 
*  Saviour  '  tells  me  we  must  conquer."  These  wretches 
went  north  to  Gorey,  where  they  committed  a  frightful 
massacre  on  the  unfortunate  Protestant  inhabitants 
who,  imagining  themselves  safe  in  the  rear  of  the  army, 
had  returned  to  their  homes.  Thence  breaking  into 
smaller  parties,  they  made  for  the  Wicklow  mountains. 
The  rest— the  remainder  mainly  of  the  army  which 
had  fought  at  Yinegar  Hill — rallying  under  the  inde- 
fatigable Father  John,  slipped  away  behind  General 
Moore  who  had  halted  two  miles  from  the  town,  and 
made  their  way  over  the  Barrow  into  Kilkenny,  carry- 
ing havoc  and  destruction  along  with  them.  Moore, 
in  the  twilight,  entered  Wexford  after  the  insurgents  had 
all  left  it.  The  scene  was  described  as  most  affecting. 
The  windows  were  crowded  with  women  who  had  been 
expecting  massacre,     The  prisoners  in  the  gaol  heard 


45 

in  the  noise  of  the  approaching  troops  the  summons  as 
they  supposed,  to  death  upon  the  bridge.  When  the 
door  was  thrown  open  they  saw  the  king's  uniform  and 
knew  that  they  were  saved.  The  insurgents,  who 
escaped  with  Father  John  over  the  Barrow,  after  ravag- 
ing part  of  Kilkenny  and  finding  the  peasants  contrary 
to  their  expectations,  disinclined  to  join  them,  doubled 
back  into  Wexford  and  thence  into  the  Wicklow  Moun- 
tains, where,  divided  into  roving  gangs  of  murderous 
banditti,  they  protraeted  through  the  summer  the  bloody 
and  miserable  struggle. 

24:th  June,  1798.— -The  North  Cork,  numbering 
100  men,*  and  a  party  of  yeomanry  of  about  the  same 
strength  under  command  of  General  Dunn,  defended 
the  town  of  Athy,  and  pursued  the  rebels  during  the 
night ;  and  although  unable  to  come  up  with  the 
flying  enemy,  they  were  driven  into  the  grasp  of  Major 
Mathews,  who  had  marched  from  Maryborough  in  the 
Queen's  County,  to  co-operate  with  Sir  Charles  Asgill, 
his  force  comprising  400  of  his  own  regiment,  the 
Queen's  Co.  Militia,  Royal  Downshire,  the  Maryborough 
Infantry,  under  Captain  Gore,  and  the  Ballyfin  Cavalry, 
under  Captain  Poole.  The  rebels  were  observed  in 
great  numbers  on  the  heights  above  Doonane,  but  as  it 
was  now  evening,  the  troops  rested  in  the  town  of 
Timahoe  for  the  night,  but  determined  to  bring  the 
rebels  into  action  the  next  morning.  Sir  Charles  Asgill 
recalled  the  troops  to  Maryborough  ;  but  acting  on  his 

*  Maxwell's  Historv, 


46 

own  responsibility  and  with  great  judgment,  Major 
Mathews  held  his  ground,  and  urged  Sir  Charles  to  make 
a  joint  attack  with  him  next  morning,  and  while  he 
assailed  them  from  Doonane  the  Major  would  make  his 
attack  by  Timahoe  ;  but  Sir  Charles  thought  his  troops 
were  too  much  fatigued  to  do  so. 

The  rebels,  however,  retreated  to  Goresbridge,  in  the 
County  of  Kilkenny,  and  Major  Mathews  marched  at 
midnight  to  intercept  them,  and  at  daybreak  they  were 
discovered  halted  on  Kilcomney  Hill.  The  attack  was 
begun  by  the  Downshire  Battalion  guns  opening  fire,  and 
the  rebels  fell  back ;  while  endeavouring  to  reform  they 
were  attacked  by  Asgill's  troops  in  the  rear.  They 
broke,  fled,  and  were  cut  down  almost  without  any 
resistance,  the  pursuit  being  continued  for  two  hours 
with  fatal  effect.  This  was  a  crushing  blow  to  the 
Southern  insurrection.  All  was  lost — baggage,  arms, 
provisions,  and  ammunition — all  had  fallen  into  the 
hands  of  the  loyal  troops. 

Father  John  Murphy,  the  Rebel  Commander-in- 
Chief,  who  fled  from  the  field  of  battle,  was  taken  at 
an  alehouse  in  the  town  of  Goresbridge  by  three  yeo- 
men, one  of  them  named  McCabe,  and  after  a  savage 
resistance  was  finally  overpowered  and  brought  a 
prisoner  to  Tullow,  the  head-quarters  of  Sir  James  Duff. 
He  was  brought  before  that  General  who  was  seated, 
surrounded  by  his  Aides-de-Camp,  Colonels  Foster  and 
Eden,  the  Earl  of  Roden,  and  Captain  McClintock. 
His  conduct  even   in  their    presence  was  most  brutal, 


47 

and  tie  was  taken  from  the  room  in  a  state  of  demoniacal 
rage  and  fury ;  and  in  a  few  hours  afterwards  he  was 
hanged  in  the  Market-place,  his  head  fixed  on  the 
Market-house  and  his  body  burned.  He  was  a  man 
about  45  years  old  ;  light  complexioned,  bald-pated, 
and  about  5  feet  9  inches  high,  powerfully  made,  uniting 
strength  and  agility.  He  was  exceedingly  irascible, 
and  when  in  a  passion  had  the  aspect  of  a  tiger.  His 
vestments,  his  pix,  his  oil-stock,  and  a  small  crucifix 
were  found  in  his  pocket.* 

Gordon,  "  the  historian/'  states  that  the  body  of 
Father  Murphy  was  cut  open,  the  heart  taken  out  and 
roasted,  and  the  fat  melted  and  used  by  some  of  the 
Ancient  Britons'  yeomanry  cavalry  for  greasing  their 
boots. 

*  Musgrave. 


CHAPTER  VIII. 


Landing  of  the  French. 

On  the  ever- memorable  22nd  August,  1798,  three 
large  vessels,  flying  English  colours,  entered  Killala 
Bay.  They  were  at  first  mistaken  for  English  ships 
of  war,  but  shortly  the  inhabitants  of  the  town  were 
undeceived  by  the  landing  of  three  hundred  French 
soldiers  within  a  mile  of  it,  who,  under  command  of 
General  Humbert,  at  once  pushed  on,  and  after  driving 
out  the  garrison,  which  consisted  of  about  fifty  yeomen, 
who  offered  but  a  feeble  resistance,  occupied  the  town, 
and  requisitioned  everything  they  wanted — especially 
the  horses.  This  force  was  but  the  advance  guard,  and 
the  remainder,  about  twelve  hundred,  disembarked 
during  the  day.  They  were  mostly  of  the  Army  of 
Italy,  who  had  recently  fought  under  Buonaparte  in 
that  country.  They  were  eagerly  joined  by  the  Irish 
rebels,  and  5,000  stand  of  arms  were  distributed 
amongst  them,  but  as  a  general  rule  they  preferred  the 
pike  to  the  French  fusils.  Humbert,  the  leader  of  the 
expedition,  was  a  good  officer,  apparently  master  of  his 
art ;    a  bold  dashing  fellow,  of  handsome  exterior,  and 


49 

in  the  full  vigour  of  life.  Many  of  the  British  generals 
had  yet  to  learn  a  good  deal  of  the  art  of  war,  and 
Humbert  gave  them  a  practical  lesson  on  the  27th  of 
August,  1798,  at  Castlebar,  in  the  county  of  Mayo  ;  for 
whilst  in  false  confidence  that  the  invaders  must 
advance  by  the  high  road  from  Ballina,  he  suddenly 
wheeled  to  the  right,  crossed  the  mountains,  and 
appeared  in  close  column  crowning  the  ridge.  He 
covered  the  advance  of  his  Grenadiers  by  a  body  of  the 
rebels  in  French  uniforms  to  draw  awav  from  his  own 
troops  the  fire  of  the  artillery,  which  had  to  a  great 
measure  checked  the  rapidity  of  his  advance.  He 
made  himself  well  acquainted  with  the  country  between 
him  and  the  British,  and  knew  every  point  of  cover  for 
his  brave  soldiery — the  hardy  veterans  of  many  a  well- 
fought  field  of  Italy  and  the  Rhine.  Humbert  com- 
menced deploying  rapidly  from  the  centre,  with  open 
files,  until  he  formed  line  most  in  rank  entire — nearlv 
parallel  with  the  front  of  the  Royal  position. 

The  fatal  mistake  of  this  disgraceful  day  was  made 
here  ;  for  instead  of  holding  their  ground  quietly,  and 
allowing  the  enemy  to  close,  the  British  opened  a 
useless  fire  at  a  distance  which  rendered  it  perfectly 
ineffective.  The  French  at  once  saw  the  want  of 
judgment,  and  rushing  forward  en  tirailleur,  they 
seized  some  hedges  in  front  of  the  Royal  line,  ex- 
tended rapidly,  gradually  outflanking  it ;  and  now 
a  disgraceful  scene  ensued.  The  line  exhibited  general 
unsteadiness,  and  notwithstanding  the  excellent  artillery 


50 

practice,  the  supporting  infantry  gave  way,  leaving  the 
guns  exposed  to  a  rush  from  the  enemy ;  and,  as 
might  be  expected,  the  guns  were  captured,  and  the 
troops  made  of!  pele  mele  towards  the  town,  pursued 
by  the  French  cavalr}T,  by  whom  numbers  of  them 
were  slaughtered.  Although  no  attempt  was  made  to 
follow  them  further  than  the  town  of  Castlebar,  a  panic 
seemed  to  possess  the  troops,  who  retreated  so  quickly 
as  to  reach  the  town  of  Tuam — thirty  miles  from  the 
scene  of  action — on  the  night  of  the  same  day.  This 
occurrence,  no  doubt,  gave  rise  to  the  ridiculous  state- 
ment in  Lever's  "  Charles  O'Malley,"  "  that  the  North 
Cork  ran  away  fifteen  miles  further  than  the  enemy 
followed  them."  But  according  to  Maxwell,  in  his 
"  History  of  the  Irish  Rebellion  of  1798,"  an  officer  of 
the  Carabineers,  6th  Dragoon  Guards,  with  sixty  of  his 
men,  after  some  refreshment  in  Tuam,  retired  still 
further  towards  Athlone,  and  arrived  there  at  one 
o'clock  on  Tuesday,  the  29th,  having  covered  a 
distance  of  63  miles — the  distance  between  Castlebar 
and  Athlone — in  27  hours.  Beside  that  of  the  Cara- 
bineers, of  which  no  return  has  been  made,  the 
Royalist  loss  in  this  disgraceful  affair,  it  has  been 
stated,  was  53  killed,  34  wounded,  and  279  missing. 
Among  the  prisoners  and  missing  were  2  majors, 
3  captains,  6  lieutenants,  3  ensigns,  2  officers  of 
the  staff,  10  sergeants,  and  2  drummers.  Of  the 
privates  missing  the  greater  part  belonged  to  the 
Longford     and    Kilkenny    Militia,     who    afterwards 


51 

deserted  to  the  enemy.  The  Boyal  troops  were 
commanded  by  Generals  Lord  Lake,  Taylor,  and 
Hutcheson,  and  were  greatly  superior  in  number  to 
the  French,  but  Humbert's  estimate  of  the  British  com- 
manding officers  will  give  a  key  to  the  secret  of  their 
defeat.  "  I  met,"  he  said  "  many  generals  in  Ireland, 
but  the  only  '  general '  I  met,  after  all,  was  Colonel 
Yereker."* 

Humbert  evacuated  Castlebar  on  the  3rd  of  Septem- 
ber, 1798,  accompanied  on  the  march  by  a  mob  of 
rebels,  who  deserted  him  every  hour  by  twenties.  His 
object  now  appeared  to  be  the  occupation  of  the  town  of 
Sligo,  within  five  miles  of  which  lies  the  town  of 
Collooney,  where  Colonel  Vereker  and  his  regiment — 
the  City  of  Limerick  Militia — a  corps  of  yeomanry 
and  two  curricle  guns — a  force  not  exceeding  300  men 
— gallantly  engaged  the  French.  The  result  was,  how- 
ever, what  might  have  been  expected.  Vereker's  right 
flank  was  turned,  and  he  was  obliged  to  retreat  across 
the  river,  after  keeping  up  a  sharp  and  spirited  action 
for  upwards  of  an  hour. 

To  the  British  Commander  the  action  was  most 
creditable,  and,  although  he  was  obliged  to  retreat  with- 
out his  guns,  he  inflicted  a  severe  and  discouraging  loss 
upon  the  enemy. 

Four  days  had  passed  since  the  French  and  their 
auxiliaries  had  abandoned  Castlebar,  and  during  that 
time  they  had  been  continually  harrassed,  and  so  closely 

*  Maxwell's  Hist. 


52 


were  those  gallant  fellows  pressed  that  a  fusilade  was 
almost  incessant  between  their  rere  guard  and  the 
advance  of  the  Royalists.  General  Lake  was  very  strong 
in  cavalry,  which  enabled  him  to  hang  closely  on  their 
rere,  from  which  it  was  not  possible  to  shake  him  off, 
and  so  vigorously  were  the  valiant  Frenchmen  pushed 
that  their  leader  was  obliged  to  halt  the  head  of  his 
column  and  receive  an  attack  from  the  advancing 
enemy. 

8th  September,  1798. — -While  forming  the  leading 
division,  the  rere  guard,  under  General  Sazarin,  were 
overtaken  within  half  a  mile  of  Ballinamuck,  and 
that  officer  who  commanded,  en  second,  at  once  sur- 
rendered, and,  by  so  doing,  exercised  a  sound  discretion, 
and  prevented  a  useless  expenditure  of  human  blood. 
The  sacrifice  most  painful  to  a  soldier's  feeling  would 
never  have  been  made  by  him  until  every  hope  was 
over,  and,  indeed,  there  was  no  alternative,  as  Lord 
Cornwallis's  army — 30,000  strong — had  almost  sur- 
rounded them,  and  Lord  Lake  had  advanced  so  rapidly 
in  pursuit  as  to  arrive  at  Ballinamuck  in  time  to  co- 
operate with  Cornwallis  in  compelling  the  surrender  of 
Humbert's  gallant  little  army. 

"  The  following  circumstances,"  says  Musgrave, 
"  attended  the  surrender  of  the  French  army  at  Ballina- 
muck— Hompesche's  dragoons  and  Lord  Eoden's  fox- 
hunters,  yeomanry,  were  the  cavalry  that  hung  upon 
Humbert's  rear  on  the  retreat  from  Castlebar,  and  were 
the  troops  to  whom  the  French  first  showed  signs  of 


53 

willingness  to  surrender,  and  accordingly  after  sound  of 
trumpet,  which  was  answered  by  the  French,  Lord 
Roden  and  General  Crawford  then  came  up  to  the  1st 
and  2nd  Brigade  of  the  French  army,  who  surrendered 
to  about  300  cavalry,  under  his  lordship  and  General 
Crawford.  After  this  they  advanced  with  about  20 
dragoons  and  took  possession  of  three  French  guns. 
Shortly  afterwards  Humbert  rallied  his  Grenadiers, 
consisting  of  about  400  men,  the  only  part  of  the  army, 
except  the  Chasseurs,  that  had  not  surrendered,  who 
surrounded  Lord  Roden  and  his  20  dragoons.  They 
were  given  in  charge  to  the  hussars  while  they  were 
their  prisoners,  which  lasted  about  half  an  hour.  The 
French  officers  loaded  the  United  Irishmen,  their 
allies,  with  execrations  for  having  deceived  and  dis- 
appointed them  by  inviting  them  to  undertake  a  fruitless 
expedition.  They  also  declared  that  the  people  of 
Ireland  were  the  most  treacherous  and  cowardly  they 
had  ever  met. 

From  the  commencement  of  Humbert's  movement 
towards  the  North  until  his  surrender,  not  an  hour 
passed  without  the  vengeance  of  the  Royalists  falling  on 
the  deluded  wretches  who  still  continued  rather  to 
embarrass  than  assist  the  French  army  while  retreating. 
Every  straggler  that  was  overtaken  was  cut  down  by 
the  Hompeschers  and  Foxhunters  who  formed  the 
advance  of  the  Royal  Army,  and  when  the  urvaders 
laid  down  their  arms  at  Ballin amuck,  if  blood  could 
have  atoned  for  treason,  it  was  fearfully  exacted,  for  the 

l 


54 

sword  and  the  halter  were  used  with  unsparing  hands. 
During  the  pursuit  of  Humbert,  the  rebels  preserved 
not  even  the  semblance  of  order,  but  straggled  as  they 
pleased,  it  was  not  unusual  to  find  them  sleeping  in 
dozens  in  the  fields,  some  from  fatigue,  some  from 
drunkenness.  "No  questions  were  asked.  The  coup 
de  sabre  while  on  the  march  ;  the  arm  of  the  next 
tree,  when  halted,  ended  all  inquiry.  At  Ballinamuck 
voe  victis  was  pronounced  ;*  no  quarter  was  given, 
and,  to  use  Musgrave's  words,  dreadful  havoc  was  made 
among  the  unfortunate  wretches  who  were  excluded 
from  mercy,  and  cut  down  by  the  hundred. 

The  force  of  the  rebels  accompanying  the  French 
army  is  said  to  have  consisted  of  1,500  men  at  the  time 
of  this  surrender,  and  the  troops  of  General  Humbert 
were  found,  when  prisoners,  to  consist  of  748  privates 
and  96  officers,  a  loss  of  288  being  sustained  since  their 
first  landing  at  Killala. 

The  only  troops  actually  engaged  at  Ballinamuck 
were  the  Light  Battalion  and  the  Armagh  Militia.  A 
French  standard  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  light 
company  of  the  Armagh,  and  is  still  kept  with  the 
regimental  colours  in  Gosford  Castle. 

*  Musgrave's  History. 


CHAPTER   IX. 
Humbert's  Surrender. 

27  th  October  1798. — After  the  surrender  of  the  French 
army  immediate  steps  were  taken  by  the  Irish  adminis- 
tration for  sending  the  French  prisoners  of  war  back 
to  their  own  country,  and  just  before^  and  for  the  last 
time,  that  an  invading  force  of  French  Republicans 
appeared  on  the  western  shores  of  Ireland,  and  the 
same  frigates  from  which  Humbert  and  his  gallant 
followers  had  debarked  on  the  evening  of  the  22nd  of 
August,  once  more  entered  Killala  Bay,  on  the  27th  of 
October,  1798,  with,  as  was  reported,  2,000  men  on 
board.  When  they  sailed  from  Brest  intelligence  had 
not  been  received  by  the  French  Directory  of  Humbert's 
surrender,  and  this  force  had  been  dispatched  to  assist 
and  to  co-operate  with  him  on  the  north-east  coast  of 
Ireland ;  but  their  anchors  had  scarcely  reached  the 
bottom,  when  several  British  vessels  appeared  in  the  offing 
and  obliged  them  to  stand  out  to  sea  without  holding  any 
communication  with  the  shore,  and  then  managed  to 
escape  by  superior  sailing,  and  after  that  failure  the 
French  Executive  seem  to  consider  any  future  attempts 


56 

on  Ireland  as  hopeless,  and  virtually  the  Irish  Rebellion 
of  1798  was  at  an  end.  Some  small  affairs  did  occur 
in  the  north  of  the  kingdom  occasionally  afterwards, 
but  were  immediately  suppressed  by  the  now  over- 
whelming force  at  the  disposal  of  the  authorities  in  the 
country.  This  fact,  together  with  the  dread  of  falling 
into  the  hands  of  the  King's  troops  or  any  others  in 
authority,  stamped  out  any  idea  of  further  armed 
resistance  to  law  and  order  at  the  time ;  and  it  must  be 
said  that  terrible  acts  of  hurried  justice  were  daily 
witnessed  even  in  the  metropolis  ;  the  lamp  irons,  or 
the  scaffolding  on  the  bridges,  were  turned  into 
temporary  gallows ;  corporal  punishment,  and  even 
torturous  measures,  used — sometimes  from  vague 
suspicion,  at  others  from  private  enmity  alone.  A  few 
of  the  instances  may  be  stated  as  follows,  and  to  the 
shame  of  the  North  Cork  Regiment  be  it  said  that 
their  introduction  of  the  "  pitch  cap "  torture  was 
about  one  of  the  worst ;  it  was  used  in  the  county  of 
Wexford  on  any  person  having  his  hair  cut  short, 
called  a  "  croppy,"  as  the  soldiers  designated  the  United 
Irishmen,  and  on  being  pointed  out  by  some  loyal 
neighbour  was  immediately  seized,  brought  into  a  guard 
house  where  caps  either  of  coarse  linen  or  strong  brown 
paper  besmeared  inside  with  pitch  were  always  kept 
ready  for  use.  The  unfortunate  victim  had  one  of 
these,  well  heated,  compressed  upon  his  head,  and  when 
judged  of  a  proper  degree  of  coolness,  so  that  it  could 
not  be  easily  pulled  off,  the  sufferer   was   turned  out 


57 

amid  the  horrid  acclamations  of  the  merciless  tor- 
turers.* 

In  the  centre  of  the  capital  a  heart-rending  spectacle 
was  presented  of  a  human  being  rushing  from  the 
infernal  depot  of  torture,  besmeared  with  a  burning 
preparation  of  turpentine  and  pitch,  plunging  in  his 
distraction  into  the  Liffey,  and  terminating  at  once  his 
suffering  and  his  life. 

The  indiscriminating  punishment  inflicted  on  the 
Wexford  leaders,  without  exception,  has  been  heavily 
condemned.  That  men  like  Harvey,  Keogh,  Colclough, 
and  Grogan  were  radically  infected  with  republican 
principles  cannot  be  questioned,  but  like  hundreds 
of  theoretic  politicians  of  that  day,  it  is  more  than 
probable  that  their  treasonable  intents  would  have  been 
confined  to  the  dinner  table,  and  not  displayed  in  the 
field,  for  men  jested  at  the  dinner  table,  after  the  ladies 
retired,  then  just  as  they  do  now,  unconscious  that  the 
sword  was  suspended  over  them  by  a  hair,  and  never 
dreamed  that  within  a  few  brief  months  a  boon  com- 
panion, sitting  at  the  same  board,  might,  like  Hamlet, 
apostrophize  the  only  remnant  of  their  mortality  that 
was  left :  "  That  skull  had  a  tongue  in  it,  and  could 
speak  and  sing  once.  How  the  knave  jowls  it  to  the 
ground  as  if  it  were  Cain's  jawbone  that  did  the  first 
murder." 

The  North  Cork  Regiment  had  seen  a  good  deal  of 

» 

*  See  -"Lives  of  the  United  Irishmen,"  chapter  ix. 


58 

actual  hard  fighting  for  the  past  twelve  months ;    had 
fought  well  in  three  general  actions,  viz. : — New  Ross, 
Arklow,  and  Vinegar  Hill.      At  Arklow  Lord  Kings- 
borough,  afterwards  Earl  of  Kingston,  the  commanding 
officer,  was  taken  prisoner  by  the  rebels,  and  kept  as  a 
hostage,  but  was  afterwards  liberated  and  sent  to  General 
Moore.      During  his  absence,  however,  the  regiment 
lacked  nothing  in  the  way  of  being  well  commanded, 
as   Lord  Kingsale  most   ably    filled   his  place.     The 
recruiting  of  the  corps   was,   as  may  be  supposed,  a 
matter  of  some  difficulty,  but  the  losses  were  quickly 
made  good  and  the  full  strength  of  the  regiment  well 
kept  up,  and  since  the  outbreak  of  the  rebellion  six 
companies  had  been  added,  raised,  as  at  the  embodi- 
ment of  1793,  by  Government  levy,  and  the  number 
now  stood  at  1,100  men.      Notwithstanding  the  havoc 
made  in  the  ranks  at   the   three   battles   last  stated, 
besides  the  affairs  at  Prosperous,  Oulart,  Enniscorthy, 
&c,  no  regiment  in  the  service  of  King  George  had 
given  and  received  more  hard  knocks  during  '98  than 
the    "  North    Cork;"    but   fighting,    like   everything 
else,  must  have  its  limit,  and  after  the  defeat  of  the 
French  fleet,  under  Commodore  Bompart,   off  Lough 
Swilly,  by  Sir  J.  B.   Warren,   Bart.,  on   the  12th  of 
October,  public  confidence  became  much  restored,  and 
although  a  large  force  was  necessarily  kept  up  in  the 
country,   the    "  North  Cork  "  regiment  was  not  again 
called  upon  to  meet  an  enemy  m  the  field,  but  had  the 
usual  routine  of  garrison  duty  to  perform  throughout 


59 

the  kingdom,  and  early  in  the  year  1799  the  regiment 
moved  into  the  County  of  Meath,  head-quarters  at 
Trim,  under  the  command  of  Colonel  R.  N.  Fitzgerald, 
who  had  been  appointed  to  the  chief  command  of  the 
corps  since  the  previous  month  of  November,  just 
after  the  resignation  of  Lord  Kingsborough,  with 
Lieut.-Colonel  W.  H.  M.  Hodder,  as  second  in  com- 
mand, since  the  retirement  of  Lord  Kingsale,  commis- 
sion dated  15th  January,  1799.  The  regiment  was 
then  qua  rtered  in  various  parts  of  the  North  of  Ireland 
for  some  two  years,  and  afterwards  sent  into  the  county 
of  Kilkenny,  where  the  good  conduct  and  the  general 
appearance  of  the  corps  elicited  much  approbation, 
as  the  following  extract  from  Brigade  orders  amply 
shows  : — 

[Copy.] 
Brigade  Orders. 

"Kilkenny,  5th  October,  1803. 
"  Brigadier- General  Sir  Charles  Green  desires  to  ex- 
press his  great  satisfaction  at  the  soldierlike  and  hand- 
some appearance  of  the  North  Cork  Regiment  under 
arms  this  day.  The  progress  they  have  made  in  their 
field  discipline  was  also  strongly  marked  by  the  correct 
manner  in  which  they  performed  their  different  evolu- 
tions, and  upon  the  whole  the  Brigadier- General  has 
so  much  reason  to  be  pleased  with  the  North  Cork 
Regiment  that  he  requests  Lieut.-Colonel  Hodder,  the 
commanding  officer,  Major  Atkin,  and  the  rest  of  the 
officers,  may  accept  of  his  best  thanks  for  the  zeal  and 


60 

attention  they  have  shown  in  the  discharge  of  their 
different  duties,  and  he  further  assures  them  that  in 
the  event  of  facing  an  enemy,  he  shall  think  himself 
fortunate  in  having  so  good  a  corps  under  his  com- 
mand. 

"  Signed  by  order, 

"  J.  B.  Campbell,  Brigade  Major. 

"  Edward  Heard,  Capt.  and  Adjutant, 
"  North  Cork  Begt." 


61 


Battle  of  Assaye,  and  Lord  Cathcart's  Expedition 

to  Hanover. 

November,  1803. — The  North  Cork  Regiment  was 
next  quartered  in  the  King's  County,  head-quarters  at 
Banagher,  with  detachments  at  various  towns  in  the 
county.  Just  at  this  time  the  British  Government  was 
actively  engaged  with  the  affairs  of  India ;  the  battle 
of  Assaye  had  been  fought — one  of  the  first  of  the 
glorious  victories  of  "Wellington — then  Major- General 
Wellesley,  where,  on  the  23rd  September,  1803,  he 
defeated  Scindiah,  the  Marhatta  Chief,  having  an  army 
of  50,000  men,  with  a  force  of  only  8,000.  The 
military  operations  in  India  required  every  soldier 
that  England  could  spare  from  the  year  1803  to  1806, 
when  the  campaign  in  that  country  was  happily  brought 
to  a  close  by  the  negotiations  of  Lord  Lake.  The  Irish 
Militia  contributed  largely  to  the  number  of  men 
required  to  fill  the  place  of  those  who  fell  during  that 
war,  and  the  North  Cork  volunteered  numerously. 

The  British  Government,  about  this  time,  having 
determined  to  effect  a  diversion  on  the  Continent,  an 
expedition  was  prepared  and  placed  under  the  com- 
mand of  Lord  Cathcart ;  but  the  disastrous  consequences 
which  resulted  from  the  defeat  of  the  combined  armies 
of  Austria  and  Prussia,  at  Austerlitz,  by  the  French 
under  the  Great  Emperor  Napoleon,  on  the  2nd  of 
December,  1805,  rendered  it  advisable  to  abandon  the 
attempt,  and  accordingly  the  expedition  returned  from 
Hanover,  immediately  after  that  great  event. 


■  ■mi 


AUGUST,    1808. 


THE    PENINSULAR   WAR. 


MAXWELL'S  "  LIFE  OF  WELLINGTON." 


■-.J! 


CHAPTER  X. 

The  Peninsular  War. 

The  peace  of  Europe  was  at  this  period  in  a  very 
unstable  condition.  Napoleon  Buonaparte,*  "the 
wonder  of  an  age/'  had  raised  a  mighty  empire  on 
the  ruins  of  a  republic  ;  his  power,  his  glory,  were  at 
their  zenith  ;  the  movements  of  his  armies  were  but  a 
march  to  victory ;  half  Europe  was  at  his  feet,  and 
thrones  and  kings  rose  and  fell  at  his  dictation — with 
one  solitary  exception — all  cowered  before  the  magic 
of  his  name,  and  while  her  political  horizon  became 
every  hour  more  heavily  overcast,  Great  Britain  main- 
tained, with  inflexible  resolution,  the  attitude  she  had 
from  the  first  assumed;  and  though  every  banner 
beside  her  own  veiled  its  glories  before  the  victorious 
eagles  of  the  Corsican,  the  leopards  of  England  were 
seen  waving  proudly — 

"  Far  as  the  breeze  could  bear,  or  billows  foam." 

The  outbreak   of   the    war   between    England   and 
France  by  the  battle  of  Rolica,  August  17th,  1808,  and 

*  Maxwell's  "  Life  of  Wellington." 


66 

the  almost  certain  long  continuance  of  hostilities  in  Spain 
and  the  Peninsula,  caused  great  anxiety  to  the  British 
Government,  and  an  immense  strain  was  put  upon  the 
military  resources  of  the  country.  The  Irish  Militia 
responded  cheerfully  to  the  call  for  volunteers  to  the 
regiments  of  the  line,  and  during  the  six  years  which 
occupied  the  attention  of  the  world  by  the  "  Peninsular 
War/'  the  North  Cork  Regiment  contributed  as  many 
as  510  officers  and  men  to  swell  the  ranks  of  Welling- 
ton's victorious  army ;  and  well  may  this  "  great 
General "  have  said  "  that  some  of  his  best  soldiers 
were  raw  recruits  from  the  Irish  Militia."* 

The  great  events  which  occurred  on  the  Continent, 
and  the  glorious  achievements  of  the  British  arms  in 
Spain,  Portugal,  and  France,  up  to  the  capitulation  of 
Paris,  and  the  abdication  of  Napoleon  at  Fontainebleau, 
in  March,  1814,  are  mere  matters  of  history.  And  the 
decisive  victory  over  the  French  at  Waterloo  in  the 
following  year  by  the  combined  armies  of  Great  Britain 
and  Prussia  brought  peace  to  Europe — 

"  The  grave  of  France — the  field  of  Waterloo." 

After  the  battle  of  Waterloo,  June  18th,  1815,  the 
standing  army  of  Britain  was  much  reduced,  and  many 
regiments  of  militia  were  disembodied  ;  but  the  North 
Cork  Regiment  was  suffered  to  remain  in  its  integral 
state  until  the  following  year,  when  the  corps  was  dis- 
embodied on  the  1st  of  April,  1816. 

*  Napier. 


67 

The  following  is  a  list  of  the  officers  of  the  regiment 
when  disembodied  1st  April,  1816  : — 

Rank  and   Names. 

Colonel — W.  H.  M.  Hodder,  died. 

Lieut.-Colonel — W.  H.  M.  Hodder,  remained  in  com- 
mand. 
Lieut.-Colonel — Sir  John  Fitzgerald,  supernumerary  ; 

resigned  24th  July,  1815. 

Majors — Norman  dniacke. 

„  John  Roe,  supernumerary;  resigned 

24th  July,  1815. 

Captains — Edward  Hoare. 

Cooper  Penrose. 
Joseph  Coghlan. 
William  Dorman. 
Michael  Roberts. 
Thomas  Herrick. 
John  Hyde. 
Thomas  Cooke 
Maxwell  Atkins. 

Lieuts — John  Boy ce. 

Robert  Starkey. 
Thos.  Spires. 
James  Hudson. 
James  Cotter. 
Robert  Atkins. 
Daniel  Kirby. 


» 


» 
it 

)> 

„  Richard  Hickson. 

„  John  Wallis. 


68 


Lieuts — Wm.  Collis. 

George  Jessop. 

George  Heard. 

Ensigns — Edward  Heard 

„  Richard  Lane. 

Frederick  Campbell. 

Joseph.  Atkins. 


» 

„  —  Roberts. 

„  James  Atkins. 

„  Henry  Collins. 

„  David  Hodson. 

Paymaster — Henry  Atkins. 

Adjutant — Captain  Edward  Heard. 

Quarter-Master — Edward  Ring. 

Surgeon — Chermside. 

Assist. -Surgeon  — Lloyd. 


1853. 


OUTBREAK  OF  WAR 


IN 


THE    CRIMEA 


AND 


FALL  OF  SEBASTOPOL. 


CHAPTER  XI. 

War  in  the  Crimea. 

After  an  interval  of  "  thirty-nine  years "  the  peace 
of  Europe  was  again  disturbed.  The  Czar  Nicholas  of 
Russia  moved,  it  is  said,  by  prophecies,  which  assigned 
to  the  dominion  of  the  Turks  in  Europe  a  period  of  400 
years  from  the  taking  of  Constantinople  in  1453, 
thought  the  time  was  come  for  seizing,  after  he  had  in 
vain  proposed  to  divide  with  England,  the  inheritance 
of  the  "  Sick  Man,"  as  he  called  the  Sublime  Porte.  He 
marched  his  armies  into  the  principalities  of  Moldavia 
and  Wallachia,  and  his  Black  Sea  fleet  issuing  suddenly 
from  Sebastopol,  destroyed  the  Turkish  Navy  at  Sinope. 
In  the  following  spring,  England  and  France  declared 
war  in  defence  of  Turkey,  and  sent  expeditions  to  the 
Baltic  and  the  Euxine  to  adduce  u  the  last  reason  of 
kings."* 

The  noble  defence  of  the  line  of  the  Danube  by  the 
Turks  under  Omar  Pasha  "  left  the  allied  armies 
available  for  an  attempt  to  destroy  the  fortress  of  Se- 


Smith. 


bastopol  (or  Sevastopol)  —which  means  '  The  City  of  the 
Emperor  or  Czar,  Se^o-aros  being  the  Greek  equivalent 
for  the  Latin  Augustus  '*  whence  Russia  dominated 
the  Euxine  and  menaced  Constantinople." 

The  allied  armies  landed  on  the  western  coast  of 
the  Crimea — the  ancient  Taurica  Chersonesus — and 
gained  a  complete  victory  at  the  Alma  over  the  Russians 
under  Prince  Mentschikoff,  on  the  20th  of  September, 
1854  ;  and  they  might  have  followed  the  routed  army 
into  Sabastopol  had  they  known  the  weakness  of  its 
defenders.  Instead  of  this  they  marched  round  the 
city  and  prepared  to  attack  it  from  the  south.  The 
respite  was  improved  by  the  resolution  of  Prince  Gort- 
schakoff  and  the  genius  of  Todleben,  and  the  grand 
attack  of  the  allies  by  land  and  sea  was  repulsed,  Oct. 
17th.  The  siege  that  followed  was  signalized  by  the 
rash  but  splendid  charge  of  our  Light  Cavalry  Brigade 
under  Lord  Cardigan  on  the  Russian  guns  at  the  Battle 
of  Balaklava,  October  25th,  and  by  the  stern, 
triumphant  resistance  of  the  British  infantry  to  the 
attack  of  the  Russians  at  Inkerman  before  daybreak  on 
November  5th ;  but  the  terrible  sufferings  of  the 
English  army  during  the  winter  brought  much  discredit 
on  our  military  organization.  On  January  10th  the 
Anglo-French  alliance  was  joined  by  the  King  of 
Sardinia,  whose  troops,  under  General  La  Marmora, 
"  bore  the  chief  part  of  the  victorv  of  the  Tchernava  ' 
(August  16th,  1855).     A  successful  assault  was  made 

*  Kinglake. 


on  the  defences  by  the  allies  on  the  8th  of  September, 
and  on  the  following:  night  Prince  Gortschakoff 
withdrew  in  good  order  to  the  fort  on  the  north 
side  of  the  harbour,  and  the  allied  army  entered 
Sebastopol. 

The  Czar  Nicholas  at  the  age  of  59  had  succumbed 
to  disappointment  and  to  the  cold  of  which  he  boasted 
as  his  ally,  March  2nd,  1855  ;  and  his  son,  Alexander, 
was  not  able  to  continue  the  contest  after  the  fall  of 
Sebastopol ;  and  on  the  16th  January,  1856,  Russia 
accepted  the  basis  of  a  peace  which  was  signed  at  Paris, 
March  30th,  1856. 

By  the  Act  of  June  30th,  1852,  for  the  re-organization 
of  the  militia,  the  entire  construction  of  the  force  was 
materially  altered,  and  by  the  subsequent  Act  of  August, 
1854,  the  numbers  and  the  uniforms  of  the  regiments 
underwent  a  complete  change.  To  the  North  Cork 
"  was  given  the  number  116,  and  their  uniform  changed 
to  that  of  Rifles." 

January,  1855. — List  of  Officers. 

Colonel — Wm.  H.  M.  Hodder,  late  88th  Foot. 
Lieut-Col. — Wm.  St.  Leger  Alcock  Stawell,  late  Capt. 
23rd  Foot. 

Major — Robert  Atkins,  late  Capt.  60th  Foot. 

Captains — Robert  Aldworth,  late  Capt.  94th  Foot. 

,,  Richard  Lane  Warren,  late  Lt.  35th  Foot. 

John  Robert  Stawell,  late  Lt.  38th  Foot. 
Fredric  J.  Rawlins,  late  Lt.  5th  Foot. 


74 

Captains — Ed.  Braddell,  late  Capt.  70th  Foot. 

St.  Leger  Barry,  late  Capt.  65th  Foot. 
Spencer  Geo.  Walsh,  lateLt.  Rl.  Marines. 
Poole  Gabbett,  late  Lt.  31st  Foot. 
J.  Martin,  late  Capt.  Rifle  Brigade. 
Edward  Hoare. 

Lieuts.  —    Charles  Lyster. 

,,  Dominick  Sarsfield. 

„  Fred.  J.  Blackburne. 

,,  Robert  Pern7. 

,,  John  E.  F.  Alymer. 

„  Cornelius  O'Callaghan. 


5) 


„  Chas.  F.  Knolles. 

,,  John  Foote. 


fV 


>> 


Thos.  McCarthy. 


Ensigns.  —  Miles  O'Reilly. 

,,  Herbert  Coghlan. 

,,  Richard  G.  Creagh. 

„  James  Geo.  Anderson. 

William  L.  Howe. 

Richard  W.  Stokes. 


i  > 


1 1 


Adjutant  —  Fred.  M.  Callaghan. 

Paymaster — Nil. 

Surgeon  —  James  F.  Uniacke,  M.l). 

Assist.-Surg. — Francis  L'Estrange. 

The  embodiment  of  the  militia  to  meet  the  emergency 
caused  by  the  outbreak  of  the  war  in  the  Crimea  was 
partial,  not  general,  but  the  "  North  Cork  w  was  one  of 


the  first  regiments  of  the  Irish  militia  selected  for 
service,  and,  after  a  repose  of  38  years,  it  was  re- 
embodied,  by  voluntary  enrolment,  at  Buttevant,  in  the 
county  of  Cork,  on  the  18th  of  December,  1854,  under 
the  chief  command  of  Colonel  Wm.  Henry  Moore 
Hodder,  commission  dated  1st  March,  1831,  formerly 
of  the  88th  Regiment  (Connaught  Bangers),  with 
which  gallant  corps  he  served  in  the  Peninsular  War, 
and  was  present  at  the  Battles  of  Talavera,  Busaco,  and 
Fuentes  d'Onor,  affairs  of  Foz  d'Arouce  and  Sabugal, 
and  the  lines  of  Torres  Vedras  (medal  and  three 
clasps.)* 

This  veteran  was  son  of  the  officer  who  was  second 
in  command  of  the  "  North  Cork  "  after  the  retirement 
of  Lord  Kinsale  in  17JJ9. 

The  regiment  remained  at  Buttevant  until  the  2nd 
of  June,  1855,  during  which  short  period  the  corps 
made  great  progress  in  its  drill  and  discipline,  under 
the  untiring  efforts  of  the  indefatigable  adjutant, 
Captain  Frederick  Marcus  Callaghan,  appointed  3rd 
November,  1854,  formerly  of  the  60th  Eoyal  Rifles. 
From  Buttevant  the  regiment  moved  to  Limerick,  from 
whence  it  got  the  route,  on  the  24th  of  July,  for  the 
Curragh  Camp.  On  the  6th  of  December  it  was  again 
moved,  and  arrived  at  the  Camp,  Aldershot,  on  the  9th 
December,  1855.  Here  it  lay  until  the  9th  April, 
1856,  when  the  corps  was  sent  to  Weymouth,  with 

•Hart's  "Army  List"  (October,  1856), 


76 

detachment  at  Portland,  and  on  the  16th  of  June,  1856 
to  Fermoy,  where  it  arrived  on  the  21st  June,  and  was 
disembodied  in  that  garrison  on  the  29th  August, 
1856.  The  number  of  volunteers  given  to  the  regular 
array  during  embodiment  was  271. 


EXTRACTS  FROM  HISTORY 


OF    THE 


WAR  OF  THE  INDIAN  MUTINY. 


HAVELOCKS  COLUMN. 


1857- 


MABSHMAN'S    "LIFE   OF   HAVELOCK." 


CHAPTER  XII. 
The  Indian  Mutiny. 

January,  1857. — The  year  1857,  destined  to  be  one  of 
unexampled  atrocities,  dawned  tranquilly  on  the  rulers 
of  India,  and  the  empire  was  supposed  to  be  in  a  state 
of  the  most  profound  repose.  Suddenly,  from  a  cause 
apparently  insignificant,  the  spark  was  applied  to  the 
mine  on  which  we  had  been  slumbering,  and  in  a  few 
months  India  was  in  a  blaze. 

It  had  been  determined  to  improve  the  efficiency  of 
the  native  army  by  the  introduction  of  the  Enfield  rifle, 
the  cartridges  of  which  required  to  be  lubricated. 
They  were  made  up  for  the  rifles  in  the  laboratory  at 
Dumdum.  On  the  22nd  of  January  Captain  Wright 
informed  Major  Boutein,  commanding  the  depot  of 
musketry  at  that  station,  that  a  very  unpleasant  feeling 
existed  among  the  Sepoys,  who  had  been  sent  there  for 
instruction  regarding  the  grease  used  in  preparing  the 
cartridges.  It  appears  that  a  mechanic  attached  to  the 
magazine  asked  a  Sepoy,  of  the  2nd  Grenadiers,  for 
water  from  his  lotuh,  or  brass  water  pot ;  the  Sepoy 
refused  it,  on  the  ground  that  he  did  not  know  to  what 
caste   he  belonged,  when   the  mechanic   immediately 


80 

retorted,  "  You  yourself  will  soon  have  no  caste  left, 
for  you  will  be  required  to  bite  cartridges  smeared  with 
the  fat  of  pigs  and  cows."  However  indifferent  a 
Hindoo  may  be  on  the  subject  of  his  religious  belief, 
he  is  frantic  on  any  question  of  "  caste/ '  and  the  man 
who  would  not  hesitate  to  lampoon  his  gods  for  a  con- 
sideration would  regard  the  attempt  to  touch  his  lips 
with  a  piece  of  beef  as  an  inexpiable  offence.  It  was 
then  discovered  for  the  first  time  that  a  report  had  been 
disseminated  through  the  native  army  that  it  was  the 
design  of  Government  to  destroy  the  caste  of  the  Sepoys 
by  constraining  them  to  bite  off  the  end  of  greased 
cartridges. 

General  Hearsay,  commanding  the  Presidency  divi- 
sion, fully  estimating  the  gravity  of  the  crisis,  lost  not 
an  hour  in  addressing  the  Deputy  Adjutant- General  of 
the  Army  on  the  subject,  and,  with  a  view  of  eradicating 
this  impression  from  the  minds  of  the  Sepoys,  proposed 
that  the  ingredients  necessary  for  the  preparation  of 
the  musket  cartridge  should  be  procured  from  the 
bazaar,  and  the  Sepoys  allowed  to  make  it  up  them- 
selves. The  Deputy  Adjutant- General  allowed  three 
days  to  pass,  and  then  forwarded  it  to  the  Military 
Secretary  to  the  Government,  who  replied,  on  the  27th, 
that  the  Governor-General  in  Council  sanctioned  the 
proposal,  and  that  it  might  be  carried  into  effect,  not 
only  at  Dumdum,  but  also  at  the  stations  of  Umbala 
and  Sealkote  in  the  north-west. 

It  was  now,  however,   too  late  to  remedy  the  mis- 


81 

chief.  By  means  of  that  active  correspondence  which 
was  maintained  with  each  other  by  men  of  the  same 
caste  and  family  in  the  various  regiments,  the  alarm  had 
already  spread  throughout  the  army,  and  it  was 
universally  believed  that  the  greased  cartridges  were 
intended  to  destroy  their  caste,  with  a  view  of  com- 
pelling them  to  embrace  Christianity. 

General  Hearsay  held  a  Court  of  Enquiry  at  Barrack- 
pore  to  ascertain  the  cause  of  this  universal  disaffection, 
and  he  informed  the  Government  that  although  the  men 
expressed  themselves  to  be  perfectly  satisfied,  the  con- 
viction that  grease  was  used  in  the  composition  of  the 
cartridges  was  now  so  deeply  rooted  in  their  minds 
that  it  would  be  both  idle  and  unwise  to  attempt  to 
remove  it.  The  spirit  of  mistrust  and  disaffection  had, 
in  fact,  reached  that  point  at  which  every  effort  to 
correct  it  by  explanation  would  only  tend  to  confirm  it, 
with  the  additional  evil  of  being  regarded  as  an  index 
of  pusillanimity. 

On  the  10th  of  February  the  Sepoys  at  Barrackpore 
held  a  meeting  on  the  parade  ground  at  night  to 
concert  a  general  rising,  when  they  proposed  to 
murder  all  the  Europeans,  plunder  the  station,  and 
proceed  where  they  liked.  General  Hearsay  again 
addressed  the  supreme  Government  in  Calcutta  in 
urgent  terms,  and  affirmed  that  they  had  been  dwell- 
ing at  Barrackpore  on  a  mine  ready  for  explosion. 

He  pointed  out  the  extreme  danger  arising  from  the 
presence  of  four  or  five  disaffected  native  regiments  so 


82 


close  to  the  metropolis  and  quoted  Sir  Chas.  Metcalf's 
memorable  remark,  "  That  we  should  wake  some  morn- 
ing and  find  India  lost  to  the  Crown  of  England." 

l§th  February f  1857. — On  the  19th  of  February  the 
Mutiny  burst  forth  at  Berhampore.  The  19th  Regi- 
ment broke  out  into  open  revolt,  seized  their  muskets, 
and  rushed  with  loud  yells  on  the  parade  ground. 

Colonel  Mitchell,  who  commanded  the  regiment,  had 
not  a  single  European  in  the  cantonment,  but  with  the 
aid  of  two  guns  and  160  irregular  horse  who,  from  the 
circumstance  of  their  enlistment  and  organization,  were, 
in  the  early  stages  of  the  Mutiny,  better  affected 
towards  the  Government  than  the  line,  managed  to 
smother  the  flame  without  bloodshed. 

Her  Majesty's  84th  Regiment  was  ordered  up  from 
Rangoon,  and  on  its  arrival  at  Calcutta,  the  19th  Regi- 
ment was  directed  to  proceed  from  Berhampore  to 
Barrackpore.  All  the  regiments  at  Barrackpore  were, 
however,  tainted  with  disaffection  ;  but  the  34th  took 
the  lead  in  the  revolt,  and  on  Sunday,  29th  of  March,  a 
Sepoy  named  Mungul  Punday,  infuriated  with  intoxi- 
cating drugs,  rushed  to  the  parade  ground  and  called 
on  his  comrades  to  come  forward  in  defence  of  their 
religion.  The  European  sergeant-major  of  the  regi- 
ment advanced  to  seize  him,  while  the  quarter  guard 
witnessed  the  scene  without  moving.  The  adjutant  of 
the  regiment  then  came  to  the  rescue,  but  the  Panday 
shot  his  horse,  and  then  came  a  hand-to-hand  conflict 
with  both  European  officers. 


83 

The  Sepoys  of  the  regiment,  instead  of  supporting 
their  officers,  attacked  them  from  behind,  and  they 
must  have  fallen  victims  to  this  murderous  assault  had 
not  General  Hearsay  rescued  them  by  his  personal 
resolution  and  gallantry. 

On  the  arrival  of  the  19th  at  Barrackpore,  the 
Queen's  84th,  a  wing  of  the  53rd,  two  batteries  of 
artillery,  and  the  Governor-General's  body  guard,  were 
assembled  on  parade. 

General  Hearsay,  in  obedience  to  the  order  of  the 
Governor- General,  then  read  the  public  order,  which 
had  been  passed  on  the  occasion.  It  stated  that  the 
native  officers  and  men  of  the  regiment  had  been 
guilty  of  open  and  defiant  mutiny,  and  that  the 
punishment  decreed  by  the  Supreme  Government  was 
that  they  should  be  discharged  from  the  service,  be 
deprived  of  their  arms,  receive  their  arrears  of  pay,  and 
be  required  to  quit  the  cantonment.  It,  moreover, 
directed  that  this  sentence — so  utterly  inadequate  to 
the  offence — should  be  read  at  the  head  of  every  regi- 
ment in  India. 

Five  weeks  were  then  allowed  to  pass  without  any 
decision  on  the  conduct  of  the  34th  Regiment.  During 
this  period  of  inaction  the  spirit  of  insubordination  was 
rising  to  maturity  throughout  the  Bengal  Army. 

On  the  9th  of  May  all  the  disposable  troops,  Euro- 
pean and  native,  were  assembled  at  Barrackpore,  to 
witness  the  punishment  of  the  mutinous  34th.  Four 
hundred  of  the  most  culpable  in  that  corps  were  called 


84 

on  the  parade ;  their  crime,  which  was  described  as  the 
most  heinous  a  soldier  could  be  guilty  of,  was  then 
circumstantially  detailed,  after  which  they  were  paid 
up  their  arrears  and  discharged  from  the  public  service 
and  ordered  to  be  conveyed  to  Chinsurah,  to  which 
place  their  families  and  baggage  were  to  be  sent  after 
them. 

Thus,  on  the  spot  where  33  years  before  the  mutinous 
47th  had  expiated  their  crime  under  showers  of  grape 
and  the  sabres  of  the  cavalry,  the  19th  and  34th, 
guilty  of  a  more  atrocious  revolt,  were  requited  by 
discharge  from  the  service,  accompanied  by  the  receipt 
of  all  their  arrears  to  the  uttermost  farthing.  The 
conduct  of  the  Government  in  1824  nipped  mutiny  in 
the  bud,  while  the  conduct  of  the  authorities  in  1857 
rendered  a  revolt  throughout  the  army  under  the 
existing  state  of  feeling  inevitable. 

8th  Mai/,  1857. — On  the  8th  of  May  cartridges  were 
served  out  to  the  3rd  Cavalry  at  Meerut ;  they  refused 
to  accept  them,  though  it  was  distinctly  explained  that 
they  had  not  been  smeared  with  grease.  In  fact,  the 
army  was  now  ripe  for  mutiny. 

On  the  9th  May,  85  of  the  recusants  were  tried  by 
Court-Martial,  and  sentenced  to  imprisonment  with 
hard  labour  from  terms  varying  from  5  to  10  years. 
All  the  troops,  European  and  native,  were  drawn  up  on 
parade,  and  the  delinquents  were  stripped  of  their 
uniform  and  ironed.  They  were  then  marched  off  to 
jail,  uttering  imprecations  on  the  Government. 


85 

There  were  at  the  time  two  native  infantry  regiments 
at  that  station,  and  one  of  cavalry,  and  two  European 
corps,  with  two  troops  of  European  horse  artillery  and 
a  field  battery.  The  European  troops  could  easily  have 
exterminated  the  native  force,  but  unhappily  the  station 
was  under  the  command  of  a  worn  out  and  imbecile 
septuagenarian,  General  Hewitt,  whose  name  has  ob- 
tained a  most  unenviable  notoriety  in  Indian  history. 


G 


CHAPTER  XIII. 

Massacre  by  teie  Sepoys. 

On    the    llth  May,    as   the    bells    were   ringing   for 
Church    Service,    incendiary    fires   became   visible  in 
various  directions.       The  incensed  troopers  of  the  3rd 
Cavalry  rushed  to  the  jail,  where  no  European  guard 
had  been  stationed,  and  knocked  off  the  irons  of  their 
companions  and  likewise  liberated  all  the   prisoners. 
Simultaneously  with  the  forcing  of  the  jail,  the  two 
infantry    regiments    assembled  tumultuously  on  their 
parade,  seized  their  arms,  and  shot  Colonel  Finnis,  and 
other  of  their  officers  who  were  endeavouring  to  appease 
them.    The  Sepoys  and  the  convicts  joined  by  the  mob, 
now  rushed  into  the  houses  of  the  Europeans,  and  in- 
discriminately massacred  all  they  could  seize,  without 
regard  to  sex  or  age,  aggravating  murder  by  outrages 
still  more  revolting.     After    they  had    plundered    or 
destroyed  the  property  they  set  fire  to  the  bungalows, 
and  the  cantonment  was  soon  in  a  blaze.     When  the 
destruction  was  complete,    and  every  European  man, 
woman,  and  child  had  been  mercilessly  butchered,  they 
prepared  to  leave  Meerut  and  take  the  road  to  Delhi, 


87 

distant  about  40  miles.  It  was  at  this  stage  of  the 
catastrophe  that  the  European  troops  were  first  brought 
into  action,  but  it  was  now  too  late.  The  dragoons  and 
the  riflemen  overtook  and  shot  down  a  few  of  the 
hindermost  of  the  mutineers.  Handled  with  the  most 
ordinary  skill,  the  European  troops  at  the  station  might 
have  effectively  prevented  the  march  of  the  mutineers 
to  Delhi,  but  they  were  under  the  command  of 
General  Hewitt,  and  they  were  to  proceed  to  Delhi, 
without  a  blow. 

On  their  arrival  they  found  no  difficulty  in  persuad- 
ing the  two  regiments  stationed  there  to  unite  with 
them,  and  enact  the  same  scenes  they  had  perpetrated 
at  x\feerut.  Every  European  found  in  the  city  was  put 
to  death  under  circumstances  of  unexampled  barbarity. 
There  was  not  a  single  company  of  British  troops  to 
<^uard  the  arsenal,  the  second  in  magnitude  and 
importance  in  the  Bengal  Presidency,  and  after  a  brief 
defence  by  a  feeble  handful  of  Europeans  who  hastened 
to  its  protection,  it  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  insurgents, 
with  its  almost  inexhaustible  stores  and  munitions  of 
war. 

The  pensioned  King  of  Delhi  was  drawn  from  his 
obscurity  and  proclaimed  Emperor  of  India,  and  within 
t  month  after  the  outbreak  at  Meerut  the  British 
authority  had  become  extinct  throughout  the  north- 
west provinces. 

From  Meerut  to  Allahabad,  among  a  population  of 
0,000,000,  and  throughout  a  territory  many  hundred 


88 

miles  in  extent,  there  did  not  exist  the  vestige  of  a 
Government,  which,  on  the  1st  of  January,  was  con- 
sidered unassailable,  with  the  exception  of  the  fort  of 
Agra  and  the  closely  beleaguered  entrenchment  at 
Cawnpore. 

On  the  right  bank    of  the  Ganges,   and  about  120 

miles  from  Allahabad,   lay  the  military  cantonment  at 

Cawnpore,  one  of  the   most  important  stations  in  the 

Bengal    Presidency,    the     connecting     link    between 

Allahabad,  Agra,  and  Delhi.       It  had  never  hitherto 

been  left  without  a  European  regiment,  and  was  often 

protected  by  two.     In  June,  1857,  however,  there  were 

only  200    European  soldiers    and  10  guns.      It   was 

under    the    command   of    Major-General    Sir    Hugh 

Wheeler,  a  soldier  of  great  Indian  experience,  in  whom 

Government  reposed  high  and  well-merited  confidence. 

About  the  middle  of  May,  perceiving  a  growing  spirit 

of  disaffection  between  the  four  native  regiments  under 

his  command,  he  had  taken  the  precaution  of  throwing 

up  an  entrenchment  as  a  place  of  resort  in  case  of 

extremity  ;  but  so   great  was    his    confidence  in  the 

loyalty  of  the  troops,  in  whose  ranks  his  life  had  been 

passed  and  his  honours  gained,  that  he  regarded  this 

entrenchment  rather  for  its  moral  effect  than  a  refuge 

for  safety  in  danger,  the  possibility  of  which  his  faith 

in  the  native  soldier  prevented  him  from  entertaining. 

The    work   was,    therefore,    never    rendered    actually 

defensible,  nor  was  it  provided  with  water  and  supplies. 

His  position,  in  a  military  point  of  view,  was  moreover 


89 


embarrassed  by  the  women  and  children  of  the  32nd 
foot,  quartered  at  Lucknow,  the  ladies  of  the  station, 
and  other  female  fugitives  of  the  surrounding  districts. 
On  the  night  of  the  6th  of  June,  the  native  regi- 
ments broke  into  open  mutiny,  burnt  down  the  lines, 
and  plundered  the  treasury  of  £170,000.  Glutted  with 
this  boot}',  they  proposed  to  march  to  Delhi,  but  they 
were  persuaded  by  Nana  Sahib  to  take  service  under  his 
standard  and  complete  the  extermination  of  the 
English. 


^jM^t^S 

^^Z^mES*: 

CHAPTER  XIY. 

Nana  Sahib's  Treachery. 

Nana  Sahib,  whose  name  will  ever  be  conspicuous  in 
the  annals  of  crime  as  the  personification  of  perfidy  and 
cruelty,  was  the  adopted  son  of  Bagee  Row,  the  Peishwa 
or  head  of  the  ancient  Mahratta  Confederacy. 

In  the  year  1818,  while  at  peace  with  the  British 
Government,  the  Peishwa  had  endeavoured  by  an  act 
of  the  basest  treachery  to  destroy  Mr.  Mountstuart 
Elphinstone,  the  Resident  at  his  Court,  but  the  assault 
was  gallantly  repelled,  and  he  was  obliged  to  fly  from 
his  capital  at  Poonah,  and  was  hunted  through  the 
country  for  several  months  by  Sir  John  Malcolm.  His 
power  was  finally  crushed  at  the  battle  of  Kirkee ;  but 
just  at  the  period  when  he  was  brought  to  bay  and  must 
have  surrendered  at  discretion,  he  was  admitted  to 
terms,  and  by  an  act  of  reckless  prodigality  endowed 
with  an  annuity  of  £90,000 ;  this  provision  he  lived  to 
enjoy  32  years,  and  after  having  received  from  the 
British  Government  a  sum  of  two  millions  and  a  half 
sterling,  died  at  Bithoor,  about  sixteen  miles  above 
Cawnpore,  which  had  been  assigned  as  the  place  of  his 
residence.       Of  these  accumulations  he  bequeathed  a 


91 

large  portion  to  his  adopted  sod  Nana  Sahib,  'who  had 
the  assurance  to  demand  the  continuance  of  the  pension. 
It  was,  as  a  matter  of  course,  refused,  and  from  that 
time  he  conceived  the  most  bitter  hostility  to  the 
English. 

When  the  spirit  of  disaffection  first  appeared  among 
the  native  troops  at  Cawupore,  the  Nana  manifested 
the  most  friendly  disposition  towards  Sir  Hugh 
Wheeler,  and  at  his  request  afforded  every  assistance 
for  the  safety  of  the  Treasur}r,  which  remained  for 
several  days  under  the  protection  of  600  of  his  men  and 
two  guns.  But  no  sooner  had  the  Sepoys  at  Cawnpore 
broken  into  open  mutiny  and  obtained  the  ascendancy, 
than  he  threw  off  the  mask  and  took  the  lead  of  the 
hostile  movement. 

The  indiscriminate  destruction  of  the  European  and 
native  Christians  under  every  form  of  barbarity  who 
had  not  taken  refuge  in  the  intrenchments  to  which 
Sir  Hugh  Wheeler  had  retired,  now  became  the  pastime 
of  this  fiend  in  human  shape.  A  hundred  and  twenty- 
six  fugitive  English  ladies  and  gentlemen  and  children 
had  happily  escaped  from  the  insurgents  at  Futtyghur, 
and  were  proceeding  down  the  river  to  Allahabad,  when 
the  boats  were  descried  by  the  Nana's  followers  at 
Bithoor  and  brought  to,  and  the  whole  party  was 
ruthlessly  murdered. 

The  revolted  Sepoys  swelled  by  the  recruits  enlisted 
by  Nana  Sahib,  and  aided  by  the  large  resources  of 
the  Cawnpore  magazine,  which  Sir  Hugh  Wheeler  had 


92 

attempted  to  blow  up  but  failed,  now  closed  round  the 
intrenchment.  The  sufferings  of  the  ill- sheltered  in- 
mates from  the  combined  effect  of  exposure,  privation 
and  ceaseless  watching  night  and  day  under  arms,  and 
of  the  concentrated  fire  incessantly  poured  upon  them 
from  a  powerful  artillery,  present  perhaps  the  most 
dismal  page  in  the  history  of  British  India. 

On  the  day  on  which  General  Havelock  received  in 
Calcutta  his  appointment  to  the  command  of  the  column 
for  the  relief  of  Cawnpore  the  garrison  was  driven, 
after  a  defence,  the  record  of  which  is  imperishable,  to 
entertain  thoughts  of  a  capitulation — -not  for  their  own 
sakes,  but  for  that  of  the  helpless  women  and  children. 

Four  days  afterwards  this  band  of  Englishmen, 
bright  in  their  valour,  and  of  Englishwomen,  still 
brighter  in  their  fortitude,  by  an  act  of  the  most 
atrocious  perfidy,  had  ceased  to  exist. 

Of  the  870  persons  who  had  survived  the  cannonade 
for  more  than  three  weeks,  330  were  women  and 
children.  When  reduced  to  the  last  extremity,  Nana 
Sahib  sent  a  messenger  to  Sir  Hugh  Wheeler,  offering 
the  garrison  a  safe  conduct  to  Allahabad,  with  per- 
mission to  take  their  baggage,  arms,  and  ammunition 
with  them,  on  condition  that  they  would  capitulate. 
Sir  Hugh  most  reluctantly  accepted  the  overture,  but 
only  because  it  held  out  a  hope  of  saving  the  heroic 
women  and  the  tender  children  from  a  lingering  death. 
The  Nana  took  an  oath  by  the  water  of  the  Ganges — 
h  e  most   sacred  that  a  Hindoo  and  a   Brahmin  can 


93 

utter — to  be  faithful  to  his  engagement.  Boats  were 
provided  by  him,  and  the  women  and  children  were 
conveyed  to  them  in  vehicles,  in  some  cases  with  every 
expression  of  sympathy  and  solicitude  for  their  welfare. 
Every  heart  now  beat  high  with  the  certainty  of 
their  deliverance ;  but  no  sooner  had  the  whole  party 
been  seated  in  the  boats  than  three  signal  guns  were 
fired,  and  a  destructive  fire  was  opened  on  the  helpless 
fugitives  from  cannon  planted  on  the  shore  and  hitherto 
concealed  along  the  bank,  as  well  as  from  the  pieces  of 
Sana's  soldiers.  The  shrieks  of  the  women  and  the 
cries  of  the  children  were  drowned  by  the  rattle  of 
musketry  and  the  roar  of  the  guns,  and  the  yells  of  the 
hounds  now  let  loose  on  them.  The  massacre  was  a 
preconcerted  perfidy.  It  has  since  become  evident  by 
the  discovery  of  the  document,  that  an  order  had  been 
sent  to  the  Commandant  of  the  mutinous  17th  Native 
Infantry  and  some  irregulary  cavalry,  then  on  the 
Oude  bank,  to  fire  on  any  of  the  fugitives  who  might 
attempt  to  land.  The  whole  party  was  treacherously 
butchered,  with  the  exception  of  210  women  and 
children,  who  were  taken  back  to  the  town,  and 
reserved  for  future  destruction.  This  atrocity  was 
perpetrated  on  the  27th  of  June.  On  the  7th  July 
General  Sir  Henry  Havelock  marched  out  of  Allahabad 
with  a  relieving  column  of  about  1,000  bayonets  from 
four  European  regiments — the  64th,  the  78th  High- 
landers, the  84th  Foot,  and  the  Madras  Fusiliers,  130 
Sikhs,   some  volunteer  cavalry,   and  six  guns.     This 


94 


small  force  encountered  the  enemy  at  Futtepore  on  the 
12th  of  July ;  their  number  was  estimated  at  3,500, 
with  12  guns,  and  in  four  hours  that  gallant  officer 
defeated  them,  captured  11  guns,  and  scattered  the 
enemy's  whole  force  to  the  winds,  without  the  loss  of 
a  single  British  soldier. 

On  the  16th  of  July  Havelock's  force  was  in  front  of 
Cawnpore.  It  was  reported  in  camp  that  the  210 
women  and  children  who  had  survived  the  massacre  on 
the  27th  of  June  were  still  alive,  and  the  animating 
hope  of  rescuiug  them  banished  every  sense  of  fatigue 
from  our  brave  fellows  who  had  marched  so  many 
miles  under  a  broiling  sun  and  with  but  scanty  sup- 
plies. 

The  Nana  had  come  out  in  person  with  a  body  of 
5,000  men  and  eight  guns,  to  play  his  last  stake  for 
power.  The  position  he  had  chosen  was  a  most 
formidable  one  :  his  left  covered  by  the  Ganges,  a  mile 
distant,  and  by  the  high  ground  sloping  towards  it,  was 
defended  by  four  24  pounders.  The  road  to  the  canton- 
ment of  Cawnpore  divided  his  left  from  the  centre, 
which  was  posted  in  a  low  hamlet ;  here  a  24  pounder, 
howitzer  and  a  horse  6  pounder  were  planted  and  en- 
trenched. The  great  trunk  road  ran  between  his  centre 
and  his  right,  which  was  behind  a  village  encompassed 
with  mangoe  groves,  surrounded  by  a  mud  wall,  and 
defended  by  two  9  pounders.  The  railroad  embankment 
lay  to  the  right  of  it.  The  two  roads  met  about  800 
yards  in  front  of  the  enemy's  position,  which  extended 


95 

over  a  mile  and  a  quarter  in  the  form  of  a  crescent,  the 
centre  more  retired  than  the  flanks. 

The  Nana  calculated  that  our  force  would  necessarily 
come  up  the  grand  trunk  road  to  this  point  of  conver- 
gence, and  all  his  artillery  was  laid  and  pointed  to  sweep 
it,  the  range  having  been  carefully  measured  and  marked 
off. 

His  infantry  was  massed  in  support  of  the  guns  to 
defend  the  strong  position,  and  the  mutinous  2nd 
Cavalry  was  placed  in  rere  of  the  enemy's  left.  It  was 
evident  that  any  attempt  to  carry  this  position  by  a 
coup  de  main  would  entail  a  most  serious  loss  of  life,  for 
the  artillery  of  the  enemy  equalled  our  own  in  number, 
and  outweighted  in  calibre,  and  they  enjoyed  the  im- 
mense advantage  of  an  entrenched  cover.  The  General, 
therefore,  determined  to  turn  their  position.  The 
Volunteer  Cavalry  was  directed  to  bring  in  some  of  the 
neighbouring  villagers,  who  were  minutely  and  separa- 
tely questioned  as  to  the  nature  of  the  ground  on  both 
the  enemy's  flanks,  and  the  bye  roads  leading  to  their 
camp.  From  a  careful  collation  of  these  reports,  it 
appeared  that  the  ground  lying  between  the  enemy's 
left  and  the  river  was  more  elevated,  while  that  on  their 
right  was  low  and  swampy,  and  moreover,  commanded 
by  the  railway  embankment,  the  General  therefore 
resolved  to  select  their  left  flank  for  his  attack. 


CHAPTER  XV. 


Gallant  Attack,  and  Route  of  the  Enemy. 

Having  determined  on  his  course  of  operation,  com- 
manding officers  of  detachments  were  summoned.  The 
General,  standing  in  the  midst  of  them,  rapidly  traced  a 
rough  diagram  of  the  projected  movements  in  the  dust 
with  the  point  of  his  scabbard,  and  in  a  few  brief  words 
explained  his  intentions.  After  this  he  satisfied  himself 
with  questions,  that  his  plan  was  clearly  comprehended 
by  the  officers.  With  a  commander  so  bold,  and  yet  so 
perspicuous  in  his  orders,   the  troops  marched   as  to 

assured  victory. 

A  column  of  sub- divisions  was  now  formed  in  front, 

one  wing  of  the  Madras  Fusiliers  heading  it,  the  other 
covering  the  left  flank  in  skirmishing  order  ;  then  came 
m  succession  with  the  guns  at  intervals,  the  78th  High- 
landers, the  64th,  the  84th  and  the  Sikhs.  The 
Volunteer  Cavalry  advanced  in  front  of  the  infant^ 
with  orders,  when  the  column  reached  the  point  of 
divergence,  to  continue  its  march  deliberately  along  the 
road  to  attract  the  attention  of  the  enemy  and  lead  to 
the  belief  that  our  troops  were  moving  onward  in  the 


97 

teeth  of  their  guns.  For  three  miles  the  column  moved 
steadily  on  the  road,  and  then  wheeled  to  the  right, 
while  the  Volunteer  Cavalry  drew  the  fire  of  the 
enemy's  guns  on  themselves.  The  infantry  marched 
for  a  thousand  yards  under  the  shelter  of  the  groves  and 
unseen  by  the  enemy;  but  a  gap  in  the  trees  at  length 
betrayed  the  movement,  and  the  enemy  opened  fire  with 
every  gun  that  could  bear  on  the  flank  of  the  78th  and 
64th,  inflicting  some  loss.  Not  a  shot  was  fired  in 
return  ;  the  column  advanced  silently  and  compactly  as 
on  parade,  and  the  stillness  was  only  broken  by  the 
bursting  shells  of  the  enemy,  and  the  imprecations  of  the 
bullock  drivers,  as  they  urged  their  cattle  to  the  utmost 
speed. 

The  rear  of  our  column  having  cleared  the  groves, 
the  companies  wheeled  at  a  bound  into  line.  The  force 
at  once  advanced  in  direct  echellon  of  battalions  from 
the  right,  the  78th,  the  leading  battalion,  being 
supported  by  four  guns  on  each  flank,  and  by  the 
whole  of  the  Madras  Fusiliers  in  skirmishing  order. 
Our  artillery  at  once  opened  fire,  pushing  forward  as 
rapidly  as  the  broken  nature  of  the  ground  would 
permit. 

By  this  master-stroke  the  fire  of  the  enemy's  centre 
and  right  was  neutralized  as  they  could  not  use  their 
guns  without  endangering  their  left.  Three  guns  of 
the  enemy  were  stoutly  posted  behind  a  lofty  hamlet 
well  entrenched.  The  honour  of  capturing  them  was 
given  to  the  78th  Highlanders.       They   were  led  by 


98 

Colonel  Hamilton,  and  followed  him  with  surpassing 
steadiness  and  gallantry  under  a  heavy  fire — need  it  be 
added  that  the  enemy  fled  and  the  guns  captured. 

One  effort  more  remained  to  be  made,  as  arduous  as 
any  of  the  struggles  of  the  day.  The  enemy  appeared 
to  be  in  full  retreat  to  Cawnpore,  followed  by  our 
exhausted  troops,  when  a  reserve  24-pounder  planted 
on  the  road,  and  aided  by  two  smaller  guns,  reopened 
fire  on  our  advancing  line,  as  the  Nana  had  deter- 
mined here  to  make  his  final  stand  for  the  possession  of 
Cawnpore,  from  which  fresh  troops  had  poured  forth  to 
his  assistance.  The  greatest  animation  pervaded  the 
enemy's  ranks — the  din  of  their  drums,  the  shouts  of 
their  cavalry,  and  the  booming  of  their  guns  were 
sufficient  to  affect  the  minds  of  the  troops,  lying  down 
as  they  were,  to  afford  time  for  our  own  guns,  which 
were  a  mile  in  the  rere,  to  come  up.  This  temporary 
pause  in  our  advance  emboldened  the  enemy.  General 
Havelock's  horse  had  been  shot,  but  he  speedily  mounted 
a  hack,  and,  coming  into  that  rain  of  fire,  in  a  clear 
and  firm  tone  issued  the  order  to  rise  for  a  last  advance. 
The  64th  was  the  leading  regiment  of  the  echellon, 
and  as  it  advanced  the  gun  swept  its  ranks,  and  from 
thirty  to  forty  fell  before  the  corps  reached  the 
muzzle. 

The  enemy  lost  all  heart,  and  after  a  hurried  fire  of 
musketry  gave  way  in  total  route.  Four  of  our  guns 
came  up  and  completed  their  discomfiture  by  a  heavy 
cannonade. 


99 

Such  was  the  battle  of  Cawnpore,  in  which  1,000 
British  troops  and  300  Sikhs,  fighting  under  a  deadly 
sun,  with  the  aid  of  only  18  horse,  against  a  superior 
artillery  and  numerous  cavalry,  drove  from  a  position 
skilfully  selected  and  strongly  entrenched,  a  body  of 
5,000  native  troops,  trained  and  disciplined  by  our  own 
officers. 

The  troops  bivouacked  on  the  night  of  the  16th  of 
July,  on  the  bare  ground,  without  food  or  tents  ;  no 
fire  was  lighted,  and  a  dead  silence  prevaded  the  line. 
The  baggage  had  been  left  at  Maharajpore,  and  as  it 
would  have  been  imprudent  to  move  it  during  the 
night  in  the  presence  of  the  enemy's  superior  cavalry, 
it  did  not  come  up  till  morning. 

Early  on  the  morning  of  the  17th  of  July  1857, 
General  Havelock's  force  entered  Cawnpore,  but  un- 
happily too  late  to  prevent  the  dreadful  massacre  of 
the  helpless  women  and  innocent  children,  and  as  some 
of  the  troops  advanced  to  the  Sevada  plain,  east  of 
Cawnpore — Wheeler's  encampment — and  the  building 
where  those  unfortunates  had  been  confined  were 
entered,  and  the  troops  were  struck  with  horror  at 
the  sight  which  met  their  eyes. 

The  pavement  was  swimming  in  blood,  and  frag- 
ments of  ladies'  and  children's  dresses  were  floating 
upon  it.  The  apartments  were  found  empty  and 
silent,  but  there  also  the  blood  lay  deep  on  the  floor, 
covered  with  bonnets,  collars,  combs,  and  children's 
frocks   and  frills;    the    walls   were   dotted  with   the 


100 

marks  of  bullets,  and  on  the  wooden  pillars  were  deep 
sword  cuts,  from  which  hung  tresses  of  hair,  but 
neither  the  sword  cuts  or  the  dents  of  the  bullets  were 
sufficiently  high  above  the  floor  to  indicate  that  the 
weapons  had  been  aimed  at  men  defending  their  lives  ; 
they  appeared,  rather,  to  have  been  levelled  at  crouching 
women  and  children  begging  for  mercy.  The  soldiers 
proceeded  in  their  search,  when,  in  crossing  the  court- 
yard, they  perceived  human  limbs  bristling  from  a  well, 
and  found  it  choked  up  with  the  bodies  of  the  victims, 
which  appeared  to  have  been  thrown  in  promiscuously, 
the  dead  with  the  wounded,  till  it  was  full  to  the 
brim. 

It  is  related  that  the  Highlanders,  on  coming  to 
a  body  which  had  been  barbarously  exposed,  and 
which  was  supposed  to  be  that  of  Sir  Hugh  Wheeler's 
daughter,  cut  off  the  tresses,  and  reserving  a  portion  to 
be  sent  to  their  own  families,  sat  down  and  counted  the 
remainder,  and  swore  that  for  every  hair  one  of  the 
rebels  should  die. 

It  was  ascertained  on  further  inquiry  that  the  Nana, 
actuated  by  feelings  of  revenge  for  the  defeat  of  his 
army,  resolved  to  wreak  his  vengeance  on  the  helpless 
women  and  children  in  his  power.  The  Cawnpore 
rebels  were  equally  anxious  to  remove  out  of  the  way 
all  who  could  identify  the  perpetrators  of  previous 
atrocities,  and  it  was  determined  to  put  the  defenceless 
prisoners  to  death. 

The  men  of  the  Nana's  guard  were  sent  down,  and 


101 

they  massacred  in  cold  blood,  212  unresisting  worn,  n 
and  children. 

In  the  annals  of  human  guilt  there  is  no  blacker 
page  than  that  in  which  her  perfidious  murders  of 
Cawnpore  are  inscribed.  A  century  will  scarcely  suffice 
to  restore  that  Confidence  in  the  native  character  which 
the  atrocities  committed  during  the  mutiny  at  various 
stations,  more  especially  at  Cawnpore,  have  so  com- 
pletely obliterated. 

On  the  20th  of  July  General  Neill  arrived  at  Cawn- 
pore from  Allahabad  with  a  reinforcement,  whom 
Havelock  left  with  a  force  of  about  500  men,  and  an 
entrenched  camp,  as  a  provision  for  the  defence  of  the 
town.  This  precaution  was  considered  as  a  necessity, 
as  at  a  distance  of  about  70  miles,  the  Nawaub  of 
Futtypore,  after  having  murdered  all  the  Europeans 
men,  women  and  children  within  his  reach,  had 
raised  the  standard  of  revolt,  and  assembled  under  it 
two  regiments  of  native  infantry,  some  of  the  revolted 
Oude  troops,  and  a  rabble  of  armed  followers. 


i» 


CHAPTER  XVI. 
Capture     of     Onao. 

Before  the  mutiny  Futtyghur  was  the  great  military 
workshop  of  the  north-west  provinces,  with  large 
establishments  for  the  supply  of  gun  carriages,  cloth- 
ing, &c.j  and  from  these  stores  the  Nawaub  was  enabled 
to  furnish  himself  with  munitions  of  war  of  every 
description.  Nana  Sahib,  moreover,  was  across  the 
Ganges  at  Futtehpore  Chourasse,  where  he  was  endea- 
vouring to  reassemble  his  scattered  troops. 

Though  he  was  not  likely  again  to  try  conclusions 
with  Havelock  in  the  field,  he  might  take  advantage  of 
his  absence  and  try  to  regain  possession  of  Cawnpore, 
And  the  whole  district  teemed  with  a  hostile  and  martial 
population. 

The  wise  and  gallant  Havelock  having  taken  all 
necessary  precautions  against  the  town  again  falling 
into  the  hands  of  the  insurgents,  was  impatient  to 
hasten  to  the  relief  of  Lucknow.  The  enterprise  on 
which  the  General  now  entered  was  one  of  no  common 
difficulty,  and  but  for  the  great  object  before  him,  that 
of  rescuing  the  beleaguered  garrison  from  destruction, 
must  have  appeared  rash  even  to  presumption. 


103 

On  the  28th  of  July  the  whole  of  Havelock's  force, 
amounting  to  about  1,500  men  and  10  guns,  assembled 
at  Mungulwar,  and  on  the  29th  advanced  to  Onao,  a 
•distance  of  about  three  miles,  where  the  enemy,  having 
ftaken  up  a  strong  position,  disputed  the  way,  and  our 
attack  became  unavoidable.  The  place  was  vigorously 
•defended,  but  the  village  was  set  fire  to  by  our  troops. 
Pinally  the  guns  were  captured,  and  the  enemy  de- 
feated, with  a  loss  computed  at  300  men. 

After  pursuing   the  enemy  for  some    distance   the 
troops  halted  for  three  hours  and  partook  of  a  meal. 
The  bugle  then  sounded  again,  the  men    fell  into  their 
places,    and   marched  for   a    distance   of  six  miles  to 
Busseerutgunge,   a  walled-in  town,  intersected  by  the 
high  road  to  Lucknow.     The  main  gate  at  the  entrance 
•of  the  town  was  defended  by  an  earth- work,  a  trench, 
and  four  guns.      It  was  a  formidable  position,  and  it 
became  manifest  to  the  General  that  an   attempt  to 
assail  it  in  front,   unsupported  by   a  flank  movement, 
would  entail  serious  loss  of  life,     lie,  therefore,  directed 
the  G4th  Regiment   to  march  round  the  town  on  the 
left,  and  interpose  itself  between  the  farther  gate  and 
the  causeway.     The  78th  Highlanders  and  the  Madras 
Fusiliers  endeavoured  to  storm  the  gateway,  but  the 
•enemy's  guns  sending  repeated  and  heavy  discharges 
into  their  ranks  they  were  ordered  to  lie  down,  while 
our   cannon   plied   the    defence,    with    energy.      The 
enemy's  fire  now  appeared  to  slacken,  and  the  two  corps, 
having  received  orders  to  rise,  sprang  to  their  feet,  und 


104 

with  a  shout  which,  struck  terror  to  the  rebels,  cleared 
the  trench,  and  rushed  in  at  the  gate.  The  enemy 
bewildered  at  the  impetuosity  of  the  charge,  and  the 
flank  movement  of  the  64th  became  utterly  disheartened, 
abandoned  their  guns,  and  fled  in  confusion  through 
the  town  and  over  the  causeway,  hotly  pursued  b}r  the 
victors. 

With  the  exception  of  three  hours  given  to  rest  and 
refreshment,  the  troops  had  now  been  incessantly 
marching  and  fighting  from  sunrise  to  sunset.  The 
night  was  now  closing  in,  and  the  General  did  not  deem 
it  prudent  to  allow  them  to  proceed  in  pursuit  of  the 
enemy  beyond  the  causeway,  and  the  weary  soldiers 
were  bivouacked  for  the  night  close  to  the  town. 

The  opposition  that  the  General  had  encountered  in 
these,  his  first  operations  in  Oude,  was  likely  to  increase 
as  he  penetrated  into  the  province.  He  had  learned 
that  the  insurgents  had  been  strengthened  by  the  revolt 
of  three  native  regiments  at  Dinapore,  and  the  hostile 
force  in  his  rere  thus  assumed  a  more  formidable 
appearance.  It  was,  moreover,  reported  that  a  third  of 
his  gun  ammunition  had  been  expended  in  the  attack 
at  Onao  and  Busseerutgunge,  and  the  army  had  as  yet 
progressed  only  one-third  of  its  way  to  Lucknow. 
Eighty  men  had  been  killed  and  wounded  in  the  two 
actions  of  the  previous  day,  and  as  many  disabled  by 
fatigue,  exposure,  and  the  ravages  of  cholera.  These 
invalids  required  the  whole  of  the  sick  carriage  of  the 
force.       There  was  not  an   unoccupied   doolie  in  the 


10c 

<amp.  This  was  by  far  the  most  serious  difficulty 
which  presented  itself  to  the  mind  of  the  General.  It 
was  impossible  for  him  to  advance  without  conveyance 
for  the  wounded,  unless  it  was  intended  to  abandon 
them  to  destruction  on  the  road. 

Under  the  influence  of  these  considerations,  General 
Havelock  felt  it  his  duty  to  retire  to  his  impregnable 
position  at  Mungulwar,  send  back  his  sick  and  wounded 
to  Cawnpore,  and  augment  his  force  by  all  the  rein- 
forcements he  could  obtain  before  he  again  advanced  to 
Lucknow.  This  decision  was  fortified  by  the  assurance 
he  had  received,  that  the  besieged  garrison  at  the 
Residency  was  for  the  present  sufficiently  supplied  with 
provisions,  and  that  the  pressure  cf  the  siege  would  be 
in  some  measure  relaxed  by  the  diversion  of  a  large 
bodv  of  the  rebels  to  watch  his  movements. 

On  his  return  to  Mungulwar  he  wrote  to  General 
Neill,  that  though  everywhere  successful,  he  urgently 
required  another  battery  and  a  thousand  British  bay- 
onets, before  he  could  do  anything  for  the  real  advantage 
of  Lucknow,  and  urged  him  to  push  forward  every 
available  soldier  and  gun,  as  it  was  his  intention  to 
advance  to  Lucknow  immediately  on  their  arrival. 

But  he  was  destined  to  bitter  disappointment.  He 
was  informed  by  Sir  Patrick  Grant  that  be  could  expect 
no  reinforcements  for  weeks,  on  account  of  the  mutiny 
at  Dinapore,  by  which  3,000  troops,  well  armed  and 
disciplined,  had  been  added  to  the  insurgent  army,  and 
the  European  troops  which  were  on  their  way  to  re- 


106 

inforce  him,  and  enable  him  to  advance  to  Lucknow,. 
were  detained  to  protect  the  districts  and  towns  menaced 
by  this  new  brood  of  rebels.  Instead,  therefore,  of  re- 
ceiving an  accession  of  two  regiments,  with  which  he 
might  have  relieved  the  Residency,  the  whole  of  the 
additional  force  he  was  able  to  obtain  from  Cawnporo 
did  not  exceed  257  men,  a  number  barely  sufficient 
to  fill  up  the  casualities  created  by  the  sword  and 
pestilence. 

On  the  3rd  of  August  the  General  received  half  of 
Captain  Olipert's  batter}r,  consisting  of  three  horsed 
9-pounders  and  likewise  two  24-pounders. 

Although  the  General's  column  was  no  stronger 
with  these  reinforcements  than  when  he  started  for 
Lucknow  the  first  time,  he  determined  to  make  another 
effort  to  reach  it ;  and  he  felt  that  if  the  Residency  was. 
to  be  relieved  at  all,  the  attempt  must  be  made  by  the 
troops  then  under  his  command. 

The  General  calculated  that  he  had  three  strong 
positions  to  force  before  he  could  reach  the  City  of 
Lucknow,  and  that  his  losses  would  probably  fall  little 
short  of  300,  thus  only  leaving  him  700  British 
bayonets  for  the  attack  on  that  city,  with  its  encircling 
canal,  its  entrenched  and  barricaded  streets,  its  loop- 
holed  houses,  temples,  and  palaces,  defended  by  a  war- 
like population  and  an  army  of  soldiers  disciplined  to* 
perfection  by  our  own  officers.  Every  village  was 
opposed  to  us,  and  the  landholders — of  which  class 
many  of  those  who  had  fallen  in  the  action  of  the 


107 

morning  consisted — bad  universally  risen  against  us, 
and  had  collected  bands  of  two  and  three  hundred 
partisans  to  oppose  our  progress.  The  Gwalior  con- 
tingent, moreover,  had  now  mutinied  in  a  bod}-.  It 
was  a  compact  little  army  in  itself,  with  horse,  foot, 
and  twenty-four  field  guns,  thoroughly  organised  and 
equipped  ;  and  the  native  subalterns,  owing  to  the 
paucity  of  European  officers,  took  a  more  active  share 
of  the  government  of  the  different  corps,  and  were  con- 
sequently more  efficient.  It  was,  therefore,  a  more 
formidable  enemy  than  any  mere  assemblage  of  single 
regiments  of  the  line.  It  was  now  said  to  be  approach- 
ing Culpee,  on  the  Ganges,  within  fifty  miles  of  Cawn- 
pore.  The  Dinapore  mutineers  were  likewise  reported 
to  be  advancing  westward,  to  join  the  standard  of 
Nana  Sahib. 

The  General  had  been  warned  to  expect  no  reinforce- 
ments for  two  months;  and  to  crown  his  difficulties 
the  cholera  had  broken  out  in  his  camp  with  increased 
virulence.  His  men  were  dying  around  him ;  and 
while  he  was  deliberating  on  his  course  the  survivors 
employed  the  brief  halting  time  in  digging  graves  for 
their  comrades  who  had  fallen  victims  to  it  during  the 
day.  Thus,  surrounded  by  difficulties,  and  assailed  by 
an  irresistible  enemy  within  his  camp,  the  mind  of  the 
General  was  a  prey  to  conflicting  anxieties  ;  and  after 
carefully  weighing  all  the  considerations  the  General 
came  to  the  painful  conclusion  that  it  was  his  paramount 
duty  to  abandon  the  attempt  to  relieve  Lucknow  until 
he  was  adequately  reinforced. 


108 


But  lie  did  not  act  without  conferring  with  the 
officers  of  his  Staff,  upon  whose  judgment  he  set  great 
value.  He  called  them  together  and  inquired  their 
views,  and  they  unanimously  concurred  with  him  in  the 
opinion  that  to  advance  upon  Lucknow  under  present 
circumstances  would  be  a  gainless  sacrifice  of  the  lives 
of  men  who  had  so  heroically  maintained  the  honour 
of  the  British  Army. 

It  was  therefore  determined  to  retire  to  Mungulwar, 
although  the  little  army  was  burning  with  impatience 
to  advance  to  Lucknow. 


CHAPTER  XVII. 

The  Relief  of  Luckxow. 

When  intelligence  of  the  death  of  General  Anson 
reached  London,  the  vacant  post  of  Commander-in- 
Chief  of  the  Indian  Army  was  at  once  offered  to  Sir 
Colin  Campbell,  who  embarked  for  Calcutta  at  twenty - 
four  hours'  notice,  and  arrived  there  on  the  13th  August, 
1857,  and  immediately  placed  himself  in  communication 
with  Ilavelock,  whose  effective  European  strength  did 
not  now  exceed  6£5  bayonets.  This  was  the  whole 
number  left  out  of  1,700  who  had  joined  his  column — 
the  sword  and  disease  had  destroyed  or  disabled  the  rest ; 
but  he  was  assured  by  the  gratifying  intelligence  that 
Sir  Colin  had  embarked  on  board  a  steamer  to  the  head 
quarters,  and  about  seven  companies  of  the  90th  Regi- 
ment, also  a  considerable  portion  of  the  5th  Fusiliers 
and  a  battalion  of  Madras  Infantry,  and  six  6-poundei>- 
Having  thus  obtained  the  assurance  of  prompt  rein- 
forcements, he  offered  his  cordial  thanks  to  Sir  Colin  for 
the  succour  which  was  promised,  and  hoped  that  it  wu 
only  the  advanced  guard  of  a  stronger  force,  which  was 
most  urgently  needed,  lie  wanted  a  company  of  artil- 
lery to  work  his  heavy  guns,  and  cavalry  to  improve  his 
success. 


110 

Sir  James  ^Outram  arrived  at  Cawnpore  with  rein- 
forcements on  the  15th  of  September.  The  force  now 
about  to  make  the  third  attempt  to  relieve  Lucknow 
consisted  of  Havelock's  veterans — fearfully  reduced  in 
number — a  detachment  of  200  or  300  men  who  had 
come  up  with  Colonel  Stisted,  and  the  reinforcements 
brought  by  Sir  James  Outram,  constituting  in  all  a 
force  of  2,500  men.  With  this  gallant  little  army,  under 
command  of  General  Havelock,  the  relief  of  Lucknow 
was  effected. 

On  the  evening  of  the  25th  of  September,  1857,  the 
troops  were  drawn  up  at  the  hour  of  8  o'clock  in  front 
of  the  Alumbagh,  and  formed  for  the  advance.  A  small 
table  was  placed  in  the  open  field  on  which  a  map  of 
the  City  of  Lucknow  was  spread,  and,  as  the  two 
Generals  and  their  Staff  bent  over  it  tracing  the  route, 
a  nine  pound  shot  from  the  enemy's  battery,  coming 
straight  to  the  table,  fortunately  struck  the  ground  at 
a  distance  of  about  four  yards,  and  rising,  bounded  over 
their  heads,  leaving  them  uninjured. 

Between  8  and  9  o'clock  the  welcome  order  to 
"Advance"  was  given.  Sir  James  Outram  took  the 
command  of  the  1st  and  leading  brigade,  with  all  the 
artillery,  heavy  and  light.  The  2nd  under  Havelock 
followed  in  support. 

The  Highlanders  and  Sikhs,  with  Outram  and  Have- 
lock at  their  head,  pushed  on  to  the  Residency  through 
an  incessant  storm  of  shot.  The  loopholed  houses  on 
either  side  poured  forth  a  stream  of  fire  as  they  ad- 


11-1 

vanced ;  every  roof  sent  down  a  shower  of  missiles  on 
them  ;  deep  trenches  had  been  cut  across  the  road  to 
detain  them  under  the  fire  of  the  adjacent  buildings  ; 
at  every  angle  they  encountered  a  fearful  volley.  At 
length  they  forced  their  way  to  the  gates  of  the  Resi- 
dency, and  entered  in  the  dark  and  in  triumph.  Then 
came  three  cheers  for  the  leaders  and  the  joy  of  the 
half-famished  garrison. 

The  scene  within  the  Residency  has  been  eloquently 
described  by  a  Staff  officer  thus  : — "  Once  fairly  seen  all 
our  doubts  and  fears  regarding  them  were  ended,  and 
then  the  garrison's  pent  up  feelings  of  anxiety  and  sus- 
pense burst  forth  in  a  succession  of  deafening  cheer* 
from  every  pit,  trench,  and  battery,  from  behind  the- 
sand  bags  piled  on  shattered  houses,  from  every  post 
still  held  by  a  few  gallant  spirits  rose  cheer  on  cheer, 
even  from  the  hospital  many  of  the  wounded  crawled 
forth  to  join  in  that  glad  shout  of  welcome  to  those  who 
had  so  bravely  come  to  their  assistance.  It  was  a  moment 
never  to  be  forgotten.  The  delight  of  the  ever  gallant 
Highlanders,  who  had  fought  12  battles  to  enjoy  that 
moment  of  ecstacy,  and  in  the  last  four  days  had  lost  a 
third  of  their  number,  seemed  to  know  no  bounds  ;  and 
as  the  General  and  Sir  James  Outram  had  entered  Dr. 
Frazer's  house,  the  ladies  in  the  garrison  and  their 
children  crowded  with  intense  excitement  into  the  porch 
to  see  their  deliverers.  The  Highlanders  rushed  for- 
ward— the  rough  bearded  warriors — and  shook  tlu> 
ladies  by  the  hand  with  loud  and  repeated  gratulatiom 


112 

They  took  the  children  up  in  their  arms,  fondly  caressing 
them,  passing  them  from  one  to  another  in  turn.  Then 
when  the  first  burst  of  enthusiasm  was  over,  thev 
mournfully  turned  to  speak  among  themselves  of  the 
heavy  losses  they  had  sustained,  and  to  inquire  the 
names  of  numerous  comrades  who  had  fallen  in  the 
wav," 

General  Havelock  has  been  blamed  by  some  for 
bringing  with  him  four  heavy  guns,  which  were  con- 
sidered as  embarrassing  to  his  small  force,  but  he  always 
held  a  strong  opinion  on  the  question  of  heavy  artillery, 
based  on  the  manifest  difficulties  which  the  want  of  it 
had  entailed  on  "Napoleon  at  Acre,"  on  "Wellington 
■at  Burgos,"  and  on  "  Lake  at  Bhurtpore." 

It  is  impossible  to  over-estimate  the  value  of  the 
hervices  rendered  by  the  gallant  Sir  Henry  Havelock 
and  the  army  of  heroes  which  he  commanded  at  that 
most  critical  period  of  the  mutinies — the  months  of 
•July  and  August. 

In  braving  the  inclemency  of  the  season  they 
achieved  what  it  was  till  then  believed  no  Englishman, 
or  other  European,  could  do  ;  and  in  putting  to  flight, 
with  small  numbers,  the  masses  of  troops  opposed  to 
them,  supported  by  so  powerful  an  artillery,  teaching 
all  British  soldiers  to  despise  the  foe,  and  thereafter, 
whatever  the  disparity  of  numbers,  they  always  ad- 
vanced to  assured  victory.  Long,  therefore,  will  the 
recollection  of  the  name  of  Havelock  and  of  the  78th 
Highlanders,  the  1st  Madras  Fusiliers,  and  the  64th 


11 

and  84th  regiments  be  cherished  by  all  who  lor  mod 
part  of  the  garrison  of  Lucknow. 

After  the  capture  of  the  Residency  by  Havelock  and 
Outram,  with  their  brave  followers,  Sir  Colin  Campbell 
pushed  forward  at  the  head  of  5,000  men,  and  now  the 
final  relief  was  accomplished  with  an  army  of  6,000 
British  bayonets  and  a  powerful  artillery,  commanded 
by  such  leaders  as  Campbell,  Outram,  Havelock,  Inglis, 
and  others.  Lucknow  was  ours  (and  there  was  now  no 
power  able  to  cope  with  such  a  force),  so  that  the  whole 
of  the  insurgent  province  and  the  capital  of  Oude  lay 
at  the  mercy  of  the  victorous  British  Army. 


CHAPTER  XVIII. 

Officers  of  the  Regiment,  1857. 

After  the  suppression  of  the  Mutiny  in  India,  of 
course  the  standing  army  at  home  and  abroad  was 
gradually  reduced  and  the  Militia  of  the  United  King- 
dom disembodied. 

Colonel. 
William  Henry  Moore  Hodder,  late  Lieut.  88th  Foot. 

Lt.- Colonel. 
William  St.  Leger  Alcock  Stawell,  late  Capt.  23rd  Foot. 

Major. 
Robert  Aldworth,  late  Captain  94th  Foot. 

Captains, 

Frederick  J.  Rawlins,  late  Lieut,  oth  Foot. 

Edward  Braddell,  late  Capt.  70th  Foot. 

Edward  Hoare. 

Dominick  R.  Sarstield. 

Robert  Aldworth. 

Crewe  C.  Townsend. 

Robt.  D.  Perry. 

Chas.  Fredk.  Knolles. 

Eyre  Massy  Shaw 


Lieutenants. 

Cornelius  O'Callaghan. 
William  Lambert  Howe. 
Richard  Meade. 
Francis  B.  Kell. 
Herbert  Coghlan. 
Ohas.  Dudley  Gabbett. 
Hy.  A.  St.  Clair  Keogh. 
Charles  Elliott. 


Ensigns. 

John  Quarry. 
Richd.  Reynell  Aylmer. 
George  Halberd. 
Henry  Chas.  Mansergh. 
Edmund  Leahy. 
Philip  Sydney  Dudley. 
Douglas  Mercer. 
Thos.  Richard  Gabbett. 
Richard  Conner. 
John  Francis  Belli*. 
Augustus  Stanley  Clarke. 
James  F.  W.  Cronin. 


Adjutant. 
Frederick  M.  Callaghan,  late  Lieut.  GOth  Royal  Rifles. 

Quartermaster — Foster  Hewison,  late  Rifle  Brigade. 

Surr/eon — James  F.  Uniacke,  M.D. 

Assistant  Surgeon — Francis  Ffolliott,  M.D. 

Paymaster — Richard  G.  Creagh. 


116 


The  North.  Cork  Rifle  Regiment  was  selected  for 
embodiment  during  the  war  of  the  Indian  Mutiny, 
and  assembled  at  Mallow  in  the  County  of  Cork  on  the 
15th  September,  1857,  under  the  command  of  Colonel 
Hodder,  and  on  the  24th  of  same  month  marched  to 
Fermoy,  where  it  remained  until  the  17th  November 
following,  when  it  was  ordered  to  England,  and  sailed 
from  Queenstown  to  Portsmouth  for  the  Camp  at  Shorn - 
cliffe,  where  it  arrived  on  the  2nd  of  December,  1857 
The  regiment  remained  there  attached  to  the  Brigade  of 
Major-General  Lord  West  until  the  14th  of  June,  1858, 
when  "  the  route  "  arrived  for  Sheerness,  where  it  was 
engaged  on  dockyard  and  garrison  duty  with  the 
Royal  Artillery  until  the  middle  of  the  following 
October.  An  unfortunate  fracas  occurred  here  be- 
tween  the  seamen,  the  marines,  the  townspeople,  and 
some  men  of  the  regiment.  The  row  originated 
in  one  of  the  low  public-houses  in  the  worst  part 
of  Bluetown,  a  not  over-salubrious  portion  of  the  place ; 
the  few  men  of  the  corps  first  attacked  were  presently 
joined  by  a  number  of  others,  when  the  affair  threat- 
ened to  assume  serious  proportions.  The  officer  in 
command  of  the  place,  Major-General  Sir  Richard 
England,  R.A.,  then  gave  orders  to  send  out  strong 
pickets  of  the  Royal  Artillery  and  the  Rifles  to  quell 
the  disturbance  and  arrest  the  ringleaders,  which,  after 
a  good  deal  of  difficulty,  was  accomplished.  A  Court 
of  Enquiry,  however,  was  convened,  and  an  officer  from 
the  War  Office  Staff  was  sent  b}T  the  Duke  of  Cambridge 


117 

from  the  Horse  Guards  to  inquire  into  the  matter. 
This  resulted  in  the  exoneration  of  the  Rifles,  as  the 
following  letter  specifies  : — 

"  Horse  Guards,  29th  October,  1858. 

"Sir, — The  General  Commanding-in-Chief  having 
had  under  his  consideration  the  proceedings  of  the 
"Court  of  Enquiry,  held  to  investigate  the  circumstances 
attending  the  disturbance  between  certain  men  of  the 
North  Cork  Rifles  under  your  command,  and  the  sea- 
men, marines,  and  inhabitants  of  Sheerness,  by  which 
His  Royal  Highness  was  compelled,  in  order  to  restore 
-and  maintain  the  tranquillity  of  the  town,  to  remove 
the  regiment  to  Aldershot. 

u  I  have  it  in  command  to  acquaint  you,  that  His* 
Royal  Highness  collects,  from  evidence,  that  the  militia 
cannot  be  considered  as  the  original  aggressors  in  these 
riots,  which  have  acquired  so  unpleasant  a  notoriety. 

"  The  General  Commanding-in-Chief  directs  me  to 
make  this  communication  to  you,  as  the  result  of  the 
Court  of  Enquiry  in  question  has  fully  confirmed  the 
report  made  by  the  Staff-Officer,  who  was  sent  down 
personally  to  communicate  with  the  Admiral  and  the 
Commandant  of  the  garrison,  both  of  whom  spoke  in 
the  highest  terms  of  the  conduct  of  the  North  Cork 
Rifles,  and  to  whom  the  Superintendent  of  Police  stated, 
that  ever  since  the  arrival  of  the  regiment  in  June 
last,  up  to  this  unfortunate  quarrel,  not  a  man  of  the 
corps  had  been  in  custody  of  the  Civil  power  for  any 
offence  whatever. 


118 

"  His  Royal  Highness  commands  me  add,  that  he 
has  every  confidence  in  the  North  Cork  Rifles  con- 
tinuing to  maintain  the  high  character  they  have 
hitherto  held  during  the  whole  of  their  embodied 
service. 

"  I  have  the  honour  to  be,  Sir, 

"  Your  obedient  Servant, 

"Gd.  Wethbrall,  A.G 

"  Colonel  W.  H.  M.  Hodder, 

"  Commanding  North  Cork  Rifles," 
North  Camp,  Aldershot." 


u 


At  an  early  hour  on  the  morning  of  15th  of  June, 
1858,  the  regiment  paraded  and  the  roll  called.  Not  a 
man  was  absent,  and  the  corps  embarked  in  silence  and 
in  perfect  order  from  the  Government  Gun  Wharf  in 
two  war  steamers  for  Strood  Station,  North  Kent  Rail- 
way, from  whence  it  was  conveyed  to  the  North  Camp, 
Aldershot,  and  was  attached  to  the  Brigade  of  Major- 
General  Lord  William  Paulette,  where  it  took  its  part 
in  the  usual  routine  of  camp  duty,  divisional  and 
brigade  field  days,  &c,  marching  out,  and  encampment 
at  Woolmer  Forest,  where  a  model  camp  was  pitched, 
and  the  troops  remained  under  canvas  for  three  days. 
The  regiment  whilst  at  Aldershot  won  golden  opinions 
— even  from  the  voice  of  Royalt}',  as  it  marched  past — 
and  on  more  than  one  occasion  Her  Majesty  the  Queen 


110 

*  was  pleased  to  state  her  approval  of  the  manner  in 
which  the  North  Cork  '  behaved  under  arms '  at  her 
reviews."    The  following  letter  is  a  matter  of  record : — 

"North  Camp,  Aldershot, 
"  October  loth,  1859. 

44  My  Dear  Colonel, 

11  As  I  suppose  you  have  resumed  the  command  of 
the  North  Cork  Rifles,  I  think  it  is  due  to  you  and  the 
regiment  to  express  my  entire  approbation  of  their 
conduct  during  the  time  they  have  been  under  my 
command.  No  regiment  in  my  brigade  have  had  fewer 
Courts  Martial,  no  regiment  has  behaved  better,  and  no 
regiment  has  given  me  less  trouble,  and  it  was  with 
regret  I  parted  with  them. 

"  They  quitted  this  command  in  the  most  creditable 
manner,  not  leaving  a  man  behind. 

"  I  beg  to  wish  you  all  every  prosperity. 

"  And  believe  me, 

"  Very  truly  yours, 

"  W.  Paulette,  Major-General, 
"  Commanding  1st  Brigade. 


4i  Colonel  W.  H.  M.  Hodder, 
"  North  Cork  Rifles, 

'*  Ayr  Barracks,  N.B. 


120 

The  distance  from  the  North  Camp,  Aldershot,  to 
Woolmer  Forest  is  over  15  miles,  which  was  accom- 
plished by   the  troops  in  about   five  hours,   under  a 
broiling  sun,  a  dusty  road,   and  in  heavy  marching 
order,  yet  not  a  man  of  the  North  Cork  fell  out,  although 
the  leading  battalion,  and  immediately  following  the 
Field  Artillery  and  the  Cavalry  ;  then  came  the  11th 
Regiment,   the    19th,   the  36th,  the  1st  King's  Own 
Stafford,   and  some  others,  whilst  in  front   were   the 
E  Company  Royal  Engineers,  a  battery  of  Artillery r 
the  2nd  Life  Guards  (two  squadrons),  the  10th  Hussars, 
the  5th  Dragoon  Guards,  and  a  troop  of  the  Military 
Train.    The  Camp  at  Aldershot  in  those  days  was  a  very 
enjoyable  quarter,  and  although  a  little  expensive,  and 
with  numberless  field  days  and  plenty  of  work,  yet 
from  its  proximity  to  London,  and  other  advantages,. 
the  place    was   much   enjoyed  by  the  officers  of  the 
regiment.      But   by    far   the   most   delightful   of  the 
quarters   occupied   by   the    North    Cork    during    this 
embodiment  was  the  Camp  at  Shorncliffe,  standing  as  it 
does  at  an  elevation  of  about  100  feet  above  the  sea, 
with  the  beautiful  little  town  of  Sandgate  at  foot,  and 
with   Folkestone  and  Dover — always   gay — close   by, 
and  with  the  North  Foreland,  Calais,  &c,  in  the  dis- 
tance. 

The  point  of  Dungeness  where  there  is,  or  was,  a 
fort,  the  town  of  Hythe,  the  School  of  Musketry,  and 
the  well-known  shingle  sea  beach,  for  ball  practice  are 
in  the  vicinity.      The  situation    is  delightful,    and  is 


121  - 

esteemed  one  of  the  most  healthful  quarters  in  Great 
Britain. 

The  North  Cork  Rifles  left  the  Camp,  Aldershot,  for 
service  in  Scotland,  on  the  7th  October,  1859,  having 
been  within  a  few  days  of  one  year  doing  duty  there. 
The  entire  regiment  left  the  North  Camp  Station  at  an 
early  hour  in  the  morning,  about  four  o'clock,  and 
early  as  it  was,  it  was  played  to  the  railway  by  the 
bands  of  the  36th  Regiment  and  the  1st  King's  Own 
Stafford.  It  was  accompanied  by  many  of  the  officers 
and  men  of  other  regiments  in  the  brigade,  especially 
by  Colonel  Smith  and  officers  of  10  th  Royal  Hussars, 
who  kindly  wished  "  God  speed  and  all  prosperity  "  to 
the  jolly  "old  North  Cork." 

The  regiment  was  detained  at  sea  a  couple  of  days 
longer  than  it  should  have  been  by  a  dense  fog,  but  it 
arrived  safely,  however,  at  Leith  Pier,  near  Edinburgh, 
on  the  morning  of  the  14th  October,  1859,  was  divided 
into  detachments,  one  (head-quarter),  with  band,  &c, 
to  Ayr,  remainder  to  the  town  of  Hamilton,  near  Glas- 
gow. 

Both  detachments  reached  their  destination  the  same 
afternoon. 

*  "  Ayr,  wham  ne'er  a  toon  surpasses, 
For  honest  men  and  bonnie  lasses." 

Ayr  is  celebrated  as  the  birthplace  of  Robert  Burns, 
Avhose  house,  and  the  crib  or  nook  in  which  he  was  born 

*  Burns. 


122 

is  still  in  existence.  There  is  also  close  by  a  monu- 
ment erected  to  his  memory,  surrounded  by  ornamental 
grounds,  with  a  small  museum  containing  relics  "of 
the  poet"  and  his  "  Highland  Mary."  In  the  immediate 
locality  are  to  be  seen  Auld  Alloway  Kirk,  the  four 
walls  of  which  are  now  only  remaining,  surrounded  by 
a  churchyard  and  the  auld  Brig  of  Doon,  where 

*  "  Meg  brought  off  her  master  hale, 
But  left  behind  her  ain  grey  tail," 

At  these  quarters  the  North  Cork  Rifles  experienced 
a  sad  loss  by  the  death  of  their  gallant  old  chief,  Colonel 
Hodder.  Whilst  dismounting  from  the  horse  he  had 
been  riding  at  the  head  of  the  regiment  that  morning, 
he  fell  backwards  on  his  head  in  the  barrack-yard, 
never  recovered  consciousness,  and  died  on  the  20th  of 
November,  1859.  The  corpse  was  followed  to  the  rail- 
way station  at  Ayr  by  the  whole  regiment,  from 
whence  it  was  conveyed  to  Ireland  for  interment  at 
Carrigaline,  County  Cork. 

The  town  of  Hamilton  is  rather  prettily  situated, 
with  good  barrack  accommodation,  and  close  by  the 
seat  of  the  Duke  of  Hamilton,  with  a  large  circular- 
shaped  building  of  cut  stone,  known  as  the  Mausoleum, 
in  front  of  the  dwelling-house,  where  the  bones  of  all 
the  members  of  that  ancient  family,  for  generations, 
have  been  laid. 

In  the  immediate  vicinity  is  Both  well  Brig,  cele- 

*  Burns'  "Tarn  O'Shanter." 


123 

brated  as  the  scene  of  a  battle  between  the 
Covenanters,  under  John  Balfour  of  Burley,  and 
Royal  Troops,  under  the  gallant  Graharae  of  Claver- 
house,  Viscount  Dundee,  described  in  Sir  Walter 
Scott's  "Old  Mortality."  From  the  bridge  can  be 
seen  the  old  Castle  of  Tullytudlem,  where  dwelt  Lady 
Margaret  Bellenden,  a  by  no  means  unimportant 
character,  described  in  the  novel  by  the  same  Immortal 
author. 

Upon  the  death  of  Colonel  Moore  Hodder  the 
command  of  the  North  Cork  Rifles  devolved  upon 
Lt.- Colonel  W.  Alcock  Stawell,  an  officer  who  had 
served  with  the  24th  and  47th  Regiments,  and  lastly 
with  the  23rd  Fusiliers,  in  various  parts  of  the  world, 
including  Gibraltar,  North  America  and  the  West 
Indies,  from  the  year  1826  to  1848,  when  he  retired 
from  the  regular  army  and  became  Lieut. -Colonel 
and  second  in  command  of  the  North  Cork  Rifles  in 
November,  1854. 

The  regiment  during  its  stay  in  Scotland  received 
the  utmost  kindness  and  hospitality,  and  by  its  good 
•conduct  and  smart  appearance  earned  the  best  wishes 
and  universal  approbation  of  the  Scottish  people.  The 
•officers  in  return  entertained  the  elite  of  the  country  in 
the  same  hospitable  manner,  and  the  fine  band  of  the 
regiment — under  Mr.  Miller,  the  Bandmaster — was 
much  admired. 

The  "route"  for  Ireland  arrived  on  the  16th  of 
February,  and  the  Regiment  sailed  for  Queenstown, 


124 


and  was  disembodied  at  Mallow,  co.  Cork,  on  the  28th 
February,  1860. 

The  number  of  volunteers  from  the  North  Cork 
Rifles  during  the  "War  of  the  Indian  Mutiny  was  317, 
many  of  whom  fought  and  bled  in  the  Royal  Artillery 
and  the  64th  and  84th  Regiments  with  Havelock's 
victorious  column. 


CHAPTER  XIX. 

Vicissitudes  of   the  Regiment. 

The  North  Cork  Rifles  assembled  at  Mallow  for  their 
first  annual  training  and  exercise,  after  the  disembodi- 
ment of  the  corps  on  the  21st  May,  1862. 
On  the  25th  of  May,  1863,  Mallow  ; 
On  the  25th  of  May,  1864,  Mallow ;  and 
On  the  22nd  of  May,  1865,  Mallow. 
The  Government  for  the  following  six  years  did  not 
embody  the  Irish  Militia  for  the  usual  27  days'  train- 
ing.     On  the  22nd  of  May,  1871,  however,  the  North 
Cork  assembled  at  Mallow.     During  the  training,  this 
year,  his  Excellency  the  Lord  Lieutenant,  Earl  Spencer, 
visited  the  town,  and  honoured  the  officers  with  his 
presence  at  their  mess  dinner.      In  the  year  1872  the 
regiment  was  not  embodied  on  account  of  an  epidemic 
of  fever  in  the  South  of  Ireland,  and  the  North  Cork 
Rifles   did    not    again    meet   for    training   until   the 
21st   July,    1873,   when   they   assembled  at   Fermoy, 
from  whence  they  proceeded  to  the  Curragh  Camp,  for 
the  Autumn  manoeuvres,  on  the  8th  August  following. 
Here  a  most  unpleasant  quarrel  took  place  between  the 
regiment  and  the  men  of  the  Queen's  Co.  Rifles,  who 


126 

were  injudiciously  quartered  in  the  next  line3  to  the 
North  Cork.     A  fight   ensued,  sticks  and  stones  were 
freely  used  on  both  sides ;  the  Queen's  County  were 
driven  into  their  quarters  and  huts  for  shelter,  which 
were  furiously  assailed  by  North  Cork.      Both  parties 
rushed  to  obtain  their  arras,  when  a  strong  force  of  the 
27th  (Inniskilling)  Regiment,  under  Colonel  Freer,  in- 
terposed, and  after  some  time  the  riot  was  quelled.   Both 
regiments  were  disarmed,  however,  and  by  order  of  the 
•General  Officer  commanding,  separated  and  placed  under 
canvas  at  the  opposite  ends  of  the  Camp — the  Queen's 
Co.  Regiment  was  located  at  a  well-known  spot  called 
"  Donnelly's  Hollow,"  near  the  Kilcullen  road,  and  the 
North  Cork  at  a  part  bearing  the  name  of  "  French 
Furze,' :'  near  the  town  of  Kildare.      An  investigation 
was  held  in  the  Quarter- Master  General's  offices,  where 
the  officers  belonging  to  both  regiments  were  assembled, 
and  the  Lieutenant-General,    Sir  Thomas  Steele,    in- 
formed them  that  he  regretted  the  unfortunate  occur- 
rence which,  for  sake  of  the  maintenance  of  good  order, 
had  obliged  him  to  separate  the  regiments  as  he  had 
done.      The  whole  affair,   however,  might  have  been 
avoided  had  the  two   regiments  not  been  placed  to- 
gether  and    a   little    judgment    employed,    so    as  to 
prevent  the  rivalry,  which  in  reality  was  the  origin 
of  the  row  between  the  two  battalions. 

The  North  Cork  returned  to  Fermoy  on  the  22nd  of 
August,  1873,  and  was  disembodied  a  few  da}Ts  after- 
wards in  the  new  barracks  there.      The  regiment  was 


127 

commanded  by  Lieut. -Colon el  Robert  Aldworth,  who- 
succeeded  Colonel  Alcock  Stawell  in  command  after 
that  officer's  retirement  in  1873.  He  served  with  the 
94th  Regiment  from  December,  1830,  to  May,  1844,. 
in  the  Mediterranean,  India,  and  Ceylon. 

The  regiment  was  not  called  out  for  training  in  the 
year  1874.  It  was  embodied  again  for  training  at 
Fermoy  on  the  23rd  August,  1875.  On  the  8th  of 
May,  1876,  the  North  Cork  Rifles  assembled  at  Fermoy, 
and  proceeded  to  Horsham,  for  mobilization  with  the 
2nd  Army  Corps,  in  the  troopship  "Himalaya,"  on  the 
12th  of  July,  rid  Queenstown  to  Portsmouth. 

His  Royal  Highness  the  Field  Marshal  Commanding 
in  Chief  inspected  the  regiment  at  Horsham  on  the 
18th  July,  1876,  after  which  it  proceeded  by  rail  to 
Guilford  on  the  evening  of  the  19th  July,  1876,  and 
marched  via  the  "  Hog's  Back  "  to  Aldershot. 

The  regiment  marched  past  before  His  Royal 
Highness  the  Prince  of  Wales  and  H.R.IL  the  Duke 
of  Cambridge,  in  the  Long  Valley,  on  the  22nd  July, 
and  on  the  25th  proceeded  to  Farnboro'  Station,  took 
rail  to  Portsmouth,  and  re-embarked  in  Her  Majesty's 
troopships  "  Himalaya  "  and  "  Assistance/'  for  convey- 
ance to  Mallow,  via  Queenstown,  and  wras  disembodied 
on  the  29th  of  July,  1876. 

The  regiment  assembled  for  training  at  Mallow  on  the 
2nd  July,  1877,  and  was  dismissed  on  the  28th  July, 
1877.  For  the  three  following  years  the  regiment  went 
through  the  annual  period  for  training  and  exercise  at 


128 

the  barracks,  Buttevant — namely,  on  the  2nd  July, 
1878 ;  on  the  21st  July,  1879,  and  on  the  3rd  May, 
1880. 

Under  the  Array  Bill  of  1881  the  name  North  Cork 
Rifles  was  abolished,  and  the  regiment  became  the 
9th  Battalion  of  the  King's  Royal  Rifle  Corps. 

The  present  gallant  Chief  of  the  Battalion,  Colonel 
R.  W.  Aldworth,  entered  the  army  as  2nd  Lieutenant 
in  the  60th  Royal  Rifles  (2nd  Battalion),  and  accom- 
panied them  to  North  America,  where  he  served  from 
1845  to  1847,  and  again  there  with  the  7th  Royal 
Fusiliers,  from  1848  to  1850.  He  served  in  the 
Eastern  Campaign  of  1854,  including  the  Battles  of 
Alma  and  Inkerman,  Siege  of  Sebastopol,  and  Sortie  of 
26th  of  October  (medal  and  clasps). 

After  the  Crimean  War  he  went  to  India,  in  June, 
1857,  in  command  of  the  1st  Battalion  7th  (Royal 
Fusiliers),  and  landed  at  Kurrachee  in  November  the 
same  year.  He  remained  in  India  during  the  entire  of 
the  Mutiny,  until  1861,  when  he  returned  to  England. 
On  the  20th  of  May.  1863,  he  obtained  the  rank  of 
Colonel,  shortly  afterwards  retired  from  the  regular 
army,  subsequently  accepted  the  rank  of  Major  in  the 
Tipperary  Militia,  and  finally  became  Lieut.- Colonel 
North  Cork  Rifles  on  the  29th  of  October,  1873. 


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